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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 Restructures National Electricity Comp. Amid Power Outages - Official

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    The Latin American country’s losses from large-scale power outages in March exceeded $2 billion, local research firm Ecoanalitica said on 2 April.

    Venezuela is launching a restructuring of the national electricity company Corpoelec amid power outages, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez stated.

    "Following orders of the president, we have established the power supply general headquarters. We have identified two areas of our work: responding to an emergency situation in the electrical system caused by criminal attacks, and creating an 'armoured' system to counter various attacks", Rodriguez said during a headquarters meeting in the state of Bolivar, broadcast by Venezuelan state television.

    "In this regard, it was decided to restructure and modernise the national electric power corporation Corpoelec", Rodriguez added.

    The statement comes after spontaneous protest actions were held in Caracas and several other cities at the end of March demanding the restoration of electricity supply.

    In early March, Venezuela suffered the worst power outage in its history, when as many as 21 out of 23 states were left without electricity. Venezuela's national electricity supplier, Corpoelec, has stated that the incident was caused by "sabotage" at the Guri hydroelectric power plant, which generates electricity for nearly all of the country.

    Major power outages continued across the country later in March, with Caracas stressing that the country's power system had suffered several attacks. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in particular, mentioned "electromagnetic attacks" on power transmission lines.

    READ MORE: US Threatens to Counter Russia in 'Western Hemisphere' Amid Venezuela Row

    Venezuela has been facing an intense political crisis since 23 January, when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the country's "interim president", contesting the last year's presidential elections. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn in for his second presidential term on 10 January after winning last May’s election, which part of the opposition boycotted, qualified Guaido's move as an attempt at staging a coup orchestrated by Washington.

    The United States promptly recognised Guaido, along with some 50 other countries, whereas Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia and a number of other states have voiced their support for the legitimate government under Maduro. Mexico and Uruguay have refused to recognise Guaido, instead declaring themselves neutral and promoting settlement of the crisis via dialogue.

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    electrical power, power, electricity, Juan Guaido, Delcy Rodriguez, Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela
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