Venezuela: ‘country has stopped’ as blackout drags into second day

Venezuela’s embattled president, Nicolás Maduro, has been forced to close schools and give workers the day off after a severe and potentially destabilizing blackout dragged into a second day.

On Friday morning, more than 19 hours after power failed across most of the country, Venezuela’s vice-president, Delcy Rodríguez, announced that schools would not open and private- and public-sector workers should stay at home.

Rodríguez told the state-run broadcaster Telesur her country had fallen victim to “an act of electric sabotage committed by Venezuela’s extreme-right opposition” on a hydroelectric plant in the country’s south.