New power cuts in Venezuela have forced students and workers to stay home. The power went out on Monday and hasn’t returned in most areas. Public transport, hospitals and food businesses have been some of the most affected by the power cuts.
In Caracas, power went out on Monday but it returned a few hours later. The return didn’t last very long as the power went out again shortly after. It is the second time in recent weeks that the country is without power for days. Earlier this month, the country was without power for more than four days.
The power cut earlier this month led to looting and protests in many parts of the country. The city of Maracaibo was one of the most affected, with looting reported in many shopping malls and businesses.
Former president Nicolas Maduro blamed the first power cuts on a sabotage from the opposition and the US. It is not the first time that Maduro and officials have accused others of sabotaging the electrical system. In the past, they have accused the opposition and even animals of causing interruptions in the system.
Massive power outages have occurred in Caracas and other cities in recent years. But the recent power cuts have been much worse than before as they have lasted days. The latest power cut is now heading into its second day.
PSUV officials have already suggested that it is another sabotage. Experts say the problems are due to the lack of maintenance and spending from Chavez and Maduro. It is unclear how bad the latest power cut is but other big cities such as Maracaibo are said to be affected.
Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez was one of the first to say that the problems were due to a sabotage by the opposition. The minister said that the power had been restored in record time. But the power went out again shortly after and hasn’t returned.
Power first went down in the capital Caracas at around 1:20 PM on Monday. The problems led to chaos in the public transportation, which saw its metro shut down. Many Venezuelans had no choice but to take buses or walk home.
A CNN reporter visited several businesses in the country and most of them were concerned about the situation. One business said that it had not sold much since bank transactions with credit and debit cards could not be done without power. The business said that the little sales mostly involved ice and water. Another business was getting ready to close when CNN visited them. The bakery was opened and workers were there waiting but the power never returned.
The power cuts earlier this month led to deaths in hospitals and left million of dollars in losses. The meat industry was one of the most affected as several businesses had no way to refrigerate their products during the many days that they were without power. In cities such as Maracaibo, some businesses decided to give away some of their products before they went bad.