19:17 GMT +322 September 2019
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    Residents cross a street in the dark after a power outage in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, March 7, 2019. A power outage left much of Venezuela in the dark early Thursday evening in what appeared to be one of the largest blackouts yet in a country where power failures have become increasingly common. Crowds of commuters in capital city Caracas were walking home after metro service ground to a halt and traffic snarled as cars struggled to navigate intersections where stoplights were out.

    Venezuela Parliament Declares State of 'Alarm' Over Blackout - Reports

    © AP Photo/ Eduardo Verdugo
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    The blackout swept Venezuela last Thursday as national electricity supplier Corpoelec reported about "sabotage" at the major Guri hydroelectric power plant. Media subsequently reported about power outages in 21 out or 23 Venezuela's states.

    Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly declared a state of "national alarm" Monday over the "general calamity" caused by a blackout that has now lasted four days, according to AFP.

    The lawmakers approved a decree proposed by its leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido, who is seeking "international cooperation" to help resolve Venezuela's crisis.

    READ MORE: Venezuelan Army Introduces Air Surveillance Over Power Lines After Blackout

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blamed the United States for waging an energy war against Venezuela. Washington denied having a role in the crisis.

    In particular, Maduro said that a cyber attack was carried out against one of the country's energy facilities on Saturday, which did not allow the authorities to restore the electricity supply interrupted earlier in the week. Maduro also accused the right-wing opposition of attacking the Venezuelan power supply system with the high-tech weapons.

    Amid the blackout, Maduro has ordered to distribute food among the country's citizens starting from Monday. Separately, he ordered to provide assistance to hospitals across the country and to guarantee the delivery of drinking water to the houses of Venezuelans.

    READ MORE: Cabinet Minister Says Venezuela's Blackout May Be Caused by US Cyberattack

    The political crisis in Venezuela escalated in late January, when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the country's interim president. The United States and some 54 countries have recognized Guaido, but Russia, China, Bolivia, Turkey and a number of other countries have voiced their support for constitutionally elected Maduro and his government as Venezuela’s only legitimate authority.

    READ MORE: Pompeo on Venezuela Blackout: 'Maduro’s Policies Bring Nothing but Darkness'

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (566)

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