70% of Venezuela Goes Dark

President Nicolas Maduro blames saboteurs

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 4, 2013 2:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Activity in Venezuela effectively ground to a halt yesterday, as a blackout plunged 70% of the country into darkness just after noon. Parts of the capital, which the AP reports normally escapes such outages, were affected, rendering traffic lights dark and forcing companies to send thousands of workers home. The country's president got on TV and Twitter and heaped blame upon the opposition, using the word "sabotage" (a word not backed up by any examples). "Everything seems to indicate that the extreme right has resumed its plan for an electrical strike against the country," Nicolas Maduro tweeted.

But his own deputy electrical energy minister had a less underhanded explanation, reports the BBC: He said one of the country's main transmission lines failed. Caracas had power again by nightfall, though the Wall Street Journal somewhat amusingly notes that one of the buildings that lost power was the Energy Ministry. The Journal calls the country's unstable power grid "a thorn in the side of [the] energy-rich" country.

A fan looks at his laptop as he waits for play to resume at a FIBA World Cup qualifying basketball game, during a power outage, in Caracas,Venezuela, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013.
A fan looks at his laptop as he waits for play to resume at a FIBA World Cup qualifying basketball game, during a power outage, in Caracas,Venezuela, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
68%
12%
4%
4%
4%
8%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   MSN Living   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   Biography   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!