Statement by Lima Group on power outage in Venezuela

Statement by Lima Group on power outage in Venezuela

The extent of the blackout's impact on the country's crude oil production - the source of almost all the government's export earnings - remained unclear.

Angry residents of the Caracas neighbourhood of Chacao yesterday set up barricades along streets to protest about the continued outage.

Manuel Orozco of the Inter-American Dialogue told AFP there was a conservative estimate showing $2.2 billion was sent to Venezuela from overseas past year.

Food is scarce and no power means no refrigeration.

In Caracas, Darwin Contreras stands in line to collect water from the river mountain.

Long lines of cars wait at the small number of gasoline stations with electricity. Venezuelan news reports devastation at hospitals and patients dying from lack of resources.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido says he will ask Venezuela's legislature to declare a "state of alarm", authorising the delivery of global aid in response to a catastrophic power outage that has paralyzed the country.

Maduro also rallied his supporters.

Venezuela's military commanders have remained loyal to Mr. He said the "macabre strategy" to make Venezuelans desperate and turn them against each other would fail.

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"We'd like to inform that President Nicolas Maduro has decided that all classes and work activities will be suspended on Monday, March 11", the minister told state-run broadcaster VTV.

India's third largest supplier of crude, Venezuela said last month that it seeking to double the current oil exports of 340,000 barrels per day to the South Asia country. They say government corruption and mismanagement caused the decay of Venezuela's infrastructure over many years. US officials have dismissed the allegation as absurd.

A few hours after Guaido's illegitimate self-proclamation, the National Assembly - an opposition-majority parliament declared in contempt by the Supreme Court of Justice since 2016 - passed a so-called Amnesty Law for civilian and military officials.

A neighboring shop selling home goods such as plastic chairs was also looted.

The country's Health Minister Carlos Alvarado on Sunday denied the deaths, saying the government quickly responded with a contingency plan.

As night fell Saturday, the power across much of the country - which first went off Thursday - was still not on.

Western nations, including the USA, have recognized Guaido as the rightful interim president of Venezuela. Maduro should resign so elections can be held and the more than 3 million Venezuelans who have fled their troubled country can start to return. Mr.

"Nothing is normal in Venezuela, and we will not allow this tragedy to be considered normal, which is why we need this decree of a state of alarm", said Guaido, who heads the legislature, during the session on Monday.

Christine Savage, a partner at the law firm King & Spalding, said the US Treasury was "acting quickly" to roll out sanctions as the situation in Venezuela was changing rapidly.

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