CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said the national electricity system has been under constant attack since March 7 and announced a plan to ration electric power in the country.
“We immediately began the recovery work with scientists, engineers and hackers to free the brain of the national electrical system, which was attacked by viruses from the United States,” the Venezuelan leader told state television VTV .
Maduro accused “the opposition coup” of trying to “generate violence and chaos”. According to his words, after the restoration of the service, “on March 25 began a new phase of attacks”.
The president said that the attack on the transmission lines on Friday was “brutal” and “combined electromagnetic elements and elements of infiltration into Corpoelec [National Electric Corporation of Venezuela]” that are currently being investigated.
Maduro said it has approved a 30-day plan as of March 31 for the restoration of the country’s electricity service, which entails rationing of electric power.
“I have taken a 30-day plan to go to a cargo management regime, to balance the generation process, secure transmission and consumption across the country,” he said.
On March 29 and 30, power outages were recorded in a dozen Venezuelan states. They joined the first series of blackouts that began on March 7.
Meanwhile, US Special Representative for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, praised India for its collaboration in increasing Washington’s efforts to restrict Venezuelan oil exports to the global energy market.
“I would say that we have had contacts with Indian companies and with the Government of India and that we have found there to be a very considerable amount of cooperation, which we are very happy to see,” Abrams said.
The statement came after several Indian companies decided to suspend Venezuela’s oil imports, fearing threats from Washington’s sanctions against international oil refineries that insisted on partnering with Caracas.
Reuters quoted anonymous sources as saying the United States is particularly interested in cutting the supply of gasoline and by-products used to dilute heavy Venezuelan oil and make it fit for export.