14:32 GMT +320 July 2019
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    In this Feb. 18, 2015 photo, storage tanks stand in a PDVSA state-run oil company crude oil complex near El Tigre, a town located within Venezuela's Hugo Chavez oil belt, formally known as the Orinoco Belt

    Venezuelan Oil Refineries Halted by Blackout – Reports

    © AP Photo / Fernando Llano
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    The crisis-hit Latin American country has suffered a series of mass power outages since early March, which the government has blamed on the United States and the country's opposition, describing the blackouts as "sabotage attacks".

    An apparent power outage has affected a crude oil refinery complex in north-west Venezuela on Saturday night, plunging a nearby community into darkness.

    The blackout halted Amuay and Cardon, two oil refineries located in the Paraguana Peninsula, Reuters reports citing sources within the state oil company PDVSA.

    Amuay and Cardon are two of the three refineries of Venezuela's largest refinery complex, operated by PDSVA.

    White the company has not confirmed the news yet, photos of the blackout began making their way to social media.

    Dario Tremont, a regional coordinator of the Voluntad Popular (Popular Will) opposition party, claimed that the blackout took place near midnight after the breakdown of the third turbine at Cardon refinery.

    ​Another user said the outage has affected the entire Paraguaná Peninsula. Purported photos from the scene show the refinery.

    Cardon halted operations back in May after some of its facilities were damaged.

    A ​devastating power cut left most of the country without electricity between 7 and 14 March, disrupting phone lines, water supplies water and public transport services, as well as bringing down internet traffic.

    Electric Energy Minister Dominguez said the blackout was the result of a deliberate "sabotage" of the Guri hydroelectric power plant, while President Maduro blamed the crisis on the United States, which denied any involvement, and opposition leader Juan Guaido. 

    The first blackout was followed by a series of power failures in March and April.

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