While Venezuela’s government and the Chavista movement proclaimed victory over the worst blackouts to plague the country, Washington’s coup masters have promised more darkness until their goals are complete.
by Misión Verdad
Part 5 - Life during the blackout
The blackout coincided with the end of workday for the majority of the population. Traffic was interrupted by the non operational lights. In cities with underground public transportation, such as Caracas, Los Teques, Valencia and Maracaibo, overground traffic was overloaded with the population that could not use the tunnels. Similarly, the collapse of the rail system that connected Valles del Tuy with Caracas made the transportation situation even more difficult.
The telephone communication system was affected and only those who were within reach of radio repeaters with an alternative source of power could communicate by cell phone. Thanks to radio broadcasts, many knew that the blackout was nationwide. Those who owned cars used them as a source of power to recharge phones and listen to the radio.
For many people, the first night consisted of staying home and waiting for news. Friday the 8th brought official confirmation that the blackout had done deep damage across the country. School and work activities were suspended, but news of a gradual and progressive recovery of the electric service soon arrived, starting with the eastern states of the country, communicated through official and extra-official means.
Still for many, there was a second night with absolutely no power.
On Saturday morning, after a significant recovery of the service, another widespread blackout hit the country. On top of the lack of electricity, there was the challenge to get basic goods like gasoline, food and drinking water.
Getting gasoline was possible only if a station had its own generator. The banking system did not work or was working intermittently, affecting all commercial activities. In Caracas, businesses lacked staff and last but not least, the supply of potable water to most areas of the country was limited because its pumping system relied on electricity. Only those communities with water supply sources at above ground level could access the service.
Instead of assuming a collaborative attitude and support to the community to overcome the crisis, the Venezuelan opposition led by Guaidó attempted to magnify the anxiety and anguish by attempting to ignite chaos in the streets and encouraging violent looting.
The cyber attack against Corpoelec’s computerized system at the Guri hydroelectric plant and against the main operational ’brain’ in Caracas, was followed by attacks explained by President Maduro as electromagnetic operations and, simultaneously, a sabotage to other infrastructure which halted and reversed the recovery process, with the apparent intention to make a total collapse irreversible.
President Nicolás Maduro placed special emphasis on one of the sabotages of this operation: the explosion of the electrical substations in Baruta and El Hatillo, which caused fires in the early hours of Monday morning. Much of Caracas suffered a power outage again.
The Communications Minister, Rodríguez, added that the Tacoa thermoelectric plant in Vargas had been sabotaged as well. He said that the gas that supplied the station had been cut off, causing an explosion and depriving the capital, Caracas, of a backup supply of energy.
It’s important to note that Venezuela has a mixed energy generation system. First, there is the hydroelectric power plant at Guri that supplies the majority of the country, and then there is a thermoelectric power plant at Tacoa. The capital, with the largest concentration of the population, feeds from both sources. Rodriguez explained that if the blackout happened under normal circumstances, “
Greater Caracas could have easily been supplied on the Tacoa system.
Other explosions of transformers were reported in the interior of the country, affecting mainly the western region. In Zulia, the explosion was reported on Tuesday 12th in the afternoon, in the Las Cabillas sector of the Cabimas municipality. This state has also suffered from violent and irregular actions that have affected several businesses. Also in the Larense municipality of Cabudare, the explosion of another substation occurred on Monday 11th, causing greater delays in the restitution of energy in the area.