Venezuela Reports Major Sabotage Attack on Power Grid

© Photo : Twitter / @Daniel_RiosVEScreengrab from video of 17 December blackout in Caracas, Venezuela.
Screengrab from video of 17 December blackout in Caracas, Venezuela. - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.12.2021
Caracas has repeatedly accused the United States of targeting Venezuela’s power grid in “terrorist attacks” aimed at intimidating the Latin American country and destabilizing its government.
Venezuela’s Guri Hydroelectric Complex was hit in a major sabotage attack on Friday morning, Public Infrastructure and Service Vice Minister Nestor Reverol has announced.
“There has been a new attack on the national electricity system, specifically at El Guri,” Reverol said in a televised address. “We are at the forefront of actions to restore service. We ask for support from the Venezuelan people to overcome this vile and criminal attack,” the official added.
The suspected sabotage caused a massive blackout in Caracas, with 15 of the country’s 23 states affected to one degree or another.
Guri generates up to 80 percent of Venezuela’s electricity and has faced repeated attempts to sabotage its operations in recent years, according to Venezuelan officials.
Vice President Delcy Rodriguez denounced Friday’s attack on Twitter, saying that workers from the national Electric Corporation were working hard to restore power and that “nothing will get in the way of our path of peace.”
“Together [President] @Nicolas Maduro, the people will win!,” Rodriguez stressed.
Local media reports that the blackout took place in the early hours of Friday “after two strong power fluctuations.” Power began to be restored after 5 am local time.
Venezuela has suffered repeated sabotage attacks against its national power grid over the past three years, with the largest taking place in March 2019, when a suspected cyberattack on Guri’s central computer led to power outages lasting nearly a week. The Venezuelan government has typically blamed Washington for the outages, with investigations pointing to public statements made by senior US officials appearing to preempt and predict the attacks before they took place. Venezuela has sent requests to Interpol for the arrest of several US, Spanish and Colombian nationals suspected of involvement in the 2019 attacks.
Smaller blackouts have taken place in 2020 and 2021, including one in September.
Employees of the Venezuelan national electricity company are pictured inside an electric plant in San Fernando de Apure (southern Venezuela) on October 2, 2008 - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.09.2021
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US officials and US-backed Venezuelan opposition figures have dismissed the ‘sabotage’ claims, suggesting that the blackouts were caused by lack of maintenance, lack of skilled utilities workers and corruption in Venezuela’s power industry.
The suspected sabotage against Venezuela’s power grid is believed to be one of several tools used by the US and its allies in the economic war against the Bolivarian Republic that was launched in January 2019, when opposition figure Juan Guaido proclaimed himself ‘interim president’ and called for President Nicolas Maduro’s ouster from power.
Other pressure has included sanctions against Venezuelan state oil giant PDVSA and the seizure of its overseas assets, efforts to defraud Caracas of gold reserves stored abroad, US pressure on the International Monetary Fund to block a $5 billion COVID-19 loan for Venezuela, alleged plotting by the CIA to assassinate President Maduro, and a bizarre plot by a group of US and Colombian mercenaries to kidnap Maduro and fly him to the US for prosecution on trumped-up claims that he is a drug baron.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido attends a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela March 3, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.09.2021
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