Venezuela: Juan Guaido wants state of emergency amid power outage | News | DW | 10.03.2019

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Venezuela: Juan Guaido wants state of emergency amid power outage

Opposition leader Guaido has said declaring a state of emergency was necessary to request international aid. Nicolas Maduro has meanwhile blamed the ongoing power outage on a cyberattack.

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Juan Guaido: 'Time is running out for Maduro'

Self-declared interim president Juan Guaido said on Sunday that he will ask the National Assembly to declare a "state of alarm" in Venezuela.

The opposition leader said the declaration of a national emergency was needed to request international aid over the ongoing power outages in the South American country.

The National Assembly, which is controlled by the opposition, will hold an emergency session on Monday over the issue.

"We must attend to this catastrophe immediately," Guaido told reporters. "We cannot turn away from it."

Read more: Venezuela crisis — US military intervention becoming more likely

Struggling to return power

Parts of Venezuela have been without electricity since Thursday evening, with efforts to restore power progressing slowly and suffering several setbacks.

The outages have put patients at risk, with hospitals reserving their generators for emergency care. Concerns have also risen that the already-limited food supplies in Venezuela were at risk of spoiling.

Maduro said on Sunday that the recent power outages were the result of cyberattacks by the United States, but that his government is working to resolve the issue.

"The National Electricity System has been the target of several cyberattacks, resulting in its failure and preventing the different attempts for reconnection at a national level," Maduro wrote on Twitter.

The embattled leader has repeatedly rejected international aid and has blamed foreign powers in the past for power outages. The opposition blames the outages on mismanagement and corruption by Maduro's government.

Guaido declared himself Venezuela's interim president in late January, with the United States, Germany and several other European Union members and Latin American countries recognizing him as the legitimate interim leader.

He has struggled to gain the support of Venezuela's military, which continues to back Maduro's government.

rs/sms (AFP, dpa)

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