Power outages have been reported across multiple Venezuelan states on Monday afternoon (local time), March 25, including the states of Aragua, Anzoátegui, Bolívar, Carabobo, Falcón, Miranda, Mérida, Nueva Esparta, Lara, Portuguesa, Sucre, Táchira, Vargas, Yaracuy, and Zulia, as well as in the Capital District.
In Caracas, the subway public transportation system operations have reportedly been suspended due to a lack of power. Monitoring groups have also reported that the power outages have impacted roughly 57 percent of the country's telecommunications infrastructure as of 13:00 on Monday. These outages are likely to result in significant disruptions to business activity and daily life. Associated protests cannot be ruled out. A heightened security presence is to be expected near all such demonstrations and clashes between protesters and security forces, as well as arrests, are likely.
The March 25 blackout comes less than two weeks after the country experienced nationwide power outages from March 7 until service was restored to much of the country on March 14. The outages caused disruptions to transportation, water distribution systems, and telecommunications services. According to officials, the previous outage had been linked to a failure at the Guri hydroelectric dam. The government has claimed the outages were caused by an act of "sabotage" by the US; however, past outages that had been blamed on attacks were later attributed to infrastructural deficiencies.
Venezuela is experiencing an ongoing crisis spurred by President Nicolás Maduro's inauguration to a second term as president on January 10 following last year's contested election, prompting the National Assembly to declare a national emergency. At least 50 foreign governments, including the US, Canada, and Brazil, among others, have since recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the interim head of state.
Individuals in Venezuela are advised to monitor developments to the situation, adhere to instructions issued by their home governments, keep battery-operated devices fully charged whenever possible, remain vigilant for criminal behavior and avoid conspicuous displays of wealth, refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media, and avoid all public demonstrations due to the risk of violence and arrest. In addition, individuals are advised to be cautious when driving or crossing streets if traffic signals are not functional.
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