A days-long, nation-spanning power outage has compounded Venezuela’s dire humanitarian conditions. The outage began on Thursday (March 7) and as of today (March 11) is still underway, with little hope in sight for an immediate solution.
Reuters reported that as of Sunday the vast majority of the country’s nearly 1,800 gas stations were out of commission, leading Venezuelans to endure massive queues for gasoline at the roughly 100 that were up and running.
Meanwhile, without dependable refrigeration, food has begun to spoil both in people’s homes and in stores. This has led groups to ransack stores in a search for food, resulting in mass arrests by security forces.
Disputed Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, who has been fighting off a challenge by opposition leader Juan Guaidó since January, has without evidence blamed the blackout on a foreign cyber attack. Experts, however, believe the blackout is a glaring symptom of “years of underinvestment, corruption, and brain drain,” the New York Times reported.
Photos from the past few days show how the already desperate situation in Venezuela has worsened.