A blackout hit much of Venezuela including the capital Caracas on Tuesday, but the oil industry was not affected and the government said it expected all power to be restored within hours.
A dozen of the country’s 24 states were hit, causing traffic chaos in parts of Caracas and other cities. But was it by accident, or design?
“I have no doubt that today a general test of an electronic coup has been activated against the Venezuelan people. I have no doubt,” said President Nicolas Maduro.
The president’s claim that the opposition is behind the power cuts flies in the face of the fact that regular power outages have hit Venezuela in recent years, although Caracas has normally been spared. Some people think the blame lies elsewhere.
“We waited for an hour to get out of the underground, stuck in a carriage. This is proof of the situation that exists in the country in terms of the electrical system; maintenance and investments haven’t been made,” said one commuter.
That is also the opposition’s line, which says billions have been spent on the poor while the national grid has rotted. The authorities partially blame delays in several projects to boost electricity output.