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Venezuela announces steps to deal with blackout




Venezuela’s government has announced four measures to deal with a blackout that has plunged the country in darkness since late Thursday.

Planning Minister Ricardo Menendez on Monday said the moves aim to ensure that public services, like healthcare and delivery of food baskets, continue despite the crippling power outage, Xinhua news agency reported.

In an interview with Caracas-based television network Telesur, Menendez said the first step will be to closely monitor the functioning of medical services.

The second and third measures aim to ensure the delivery of gas and water via tanker trucks to households around the country.

The fourth step aims to guarantee the continuity of the country’s CLAP program, which delivers staple foods to households.

Venezuela has in the past suffered from isolated and brief power failures, but this time the blackout has lasted days and affected much of the country.

The government blames sabotage at a central hydroelectric plant by workers colluding with the US-backed right-wing opposition, as part of a plan to incite unrest and undermine President Nicolas Maduro and the ruling party.

The opposition and the US claimed that the power failure is due to corruption and mismanagement.

Menendez said the strategy to sow discontent failed, describing the attitude of solidarity and civic-mindedness that has prevailed during the blackout as “heroic.”



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