Thursday, September 5, 2013

Venezuela, world’s No. 2 in oil reserves, goes dark - President claims sabotage

Venezuela, one of the top 10 oil exporters and No. 2 in proven crude reserves, went dark on Tuesday. The massive blackout hit parts of the capital, Caracas, and at least 11 of Venezuela’s 23 states — according to media reports, 70% of the country’s population was affected.

Traffic in Caracas snarled without traffic lights and people had to be evacuated from stalled underground trains. The military was called to keep order. The power was out at the building housing the Ministry of Energy and the state-controlled oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PdVSA.

One of Venezuela’s main transmission lines faltered, and power was out for about three hours before being gradually restored. The oil industry was not affected as oil refineries are powered by separate plants, the BBC reported.

In a series of tweets, President Nicolas Maduro blamed sabotage by the “extreme right” intent on making Venezuela unstable. Read more >>
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