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Venezuela blackout goes into second day closing schools and workplaces

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By Angela Barnes  with Reuters
Venezuela blackout goes into second day closing schools and workplaces
Copyright  Venezuela shuts schools, suspends working day as blackout continues   -   REUTERS

Venezuela’s power supply remained patchy on Friday after the worst blackout in decades cut off most of the country, closing schools and workplaces.

Power went out on Thursday afternoon due to a problem at Venezuela’s main hydroelectric plant.

The government of President Nicolas Maduro called the event an act of “sabotage” by the opposition.

Power returned to some parts of the capital of Caracas during the afternoon but quickly cut out again, according to witnesses and local media.

Neither Socialist Party officials nor state power company Corpoelec have provided further updates on the situation.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who most Western nations recognise as Venezuela’s legitimate head of state, criticised the government for it and said Maduro was the one sabotaging the nation.

“Sabotage is stealing money from Venezuelans. Sabotage is burning food and medicine. Sabotage is stealing elections,” Guaido said on Twitter.

Juan Guaido's tweet

It comes following protests and rising tensions in the country to remove Maduro from power - which is being backed by the US and other Latin American countries.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also took to Twitter to blame Maduro for the situation.

He said: "No food. No medicine. Now, no power. Next, no Maduro."

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's tweet

The last time Venezuela suffered major blackouts was in 2008 and 2013, affecting significant parts of the country, but they were resolved in less than six hours.

Local power outages continue to happen, particularly in the sweltering western state of Zulia where residents complain of days without power or with limited electricity and voltage fluctuations that damage appliances.

For more news about Venezuela, click here.