Unconfirmed local reports claim a new blackout is affecting cities across Venezuela as of Friday evening (local time), March 29. Affected administrative regions reportedly include Anzoátegui, Aragua, Apure, Barinas, Bolívar, Carabobo, Cojedes, Capital District, Delta Amacuro, Falcón, Guárico, Lara, Mérida, Miranda, Monagas, Nueva Esparta, Portuguesa, Sucre, Táchira, Trujillo, Vargas, Yaracuy, and Zulia. It was not immediately reported when power was estimated to be restored to the areas.
Associated unrest, including protests, cannot be ruled out over the coming hours and days. A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are to be expected near demonstration sites.
Recent power outages in Venezuela have caused disruptions to transportation, water distribution systems, and telecommunications services. The government has claimed outages have been caused by acts of "sabotage" carried out by the US; however, previous 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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