03:55 GMT +321 November 2019
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    Residents stand outside during a blackout in the Santa Cruz of the East neighborhood, in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, March 14, 2019.

    Colombia, Chile Deny Role in Venezuelan Power Outage

    © AP Photo / Ariana Cubillos
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    BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - Colombia and Chile on Monday denied claims by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of having a role in power outages that have plagued his nation for a month.

    Maduro said earlier his government had new proof that the national power grid had been infected by a virus and pointed the finger at the two South American nations, who back self-styled interim president Juan Guaido.

    "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Colombian government, emphatically rejects the recent statements … accusing Colombia of being a source of ‘cyberattacks’ against Venezuela's electrical grid", the Colombian ministry said in a statement.

    READ MORE: EU Not Planning Broad Venezuela Sanctions But May Target Individuals — Mogherini

    Chilean Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero likewise denied Maduro’s claims.

    "There is nothing serious about Maduro’s assertions that he constantly makes. The main point is that Venezuela is in a tragic situation in terms of food, medicine, and now water and power supply", he said.

    Most of the country went dark in early March. Sporadic outages continued into April, prompting water shortages. Maduro announced a 30-day plan last week to ration electricity. He has repeatedly accused the United States and its allies of being behind the blackout.

    Venezuela has been gripped by unrest since Maduro was sworn in as president for a second term in January. This prompted US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido to proclaim himself interim president and promise a snap election. He was recognized by Washington and its allies in the region and in Europe.

    READ MORE: Venezuela Blackout Could ‘Obviously Be the Result of Sabotage’ — Journalist

    Constitutionally elected Maduro has accused the United States of trying to orchestrate a coup. Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia, Turkey and a number of other countries have voiced their support for Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (573)

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    power outages, blackout, accusations, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela
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