Maduro announces 30-day rationing plan for power


Maduro announces 30-day rationing plan for power

Maduro has not given details on his electricity load administration plan, which Venezuelans on social media interpreted as a program of power rationing.

The announcement came less than a week after Venezuela's second electrical blackout in a month.

Speaking on state television, Maduro said he had approved "a 30-day plan" to ration power, "with an emphasis on guaranteeing water service".

Argentinian football icon Diego Maradona has expressed support for Venezuela's incumbent president, Nicolas Maduro, blasting U.S. authorities for imposing extensive political pressure on the Latin American country.

Venezuelan security forces have detained Guaido's chief of staff, but have yet to move directly against the opposition leader, whose claim to be interim president is backed by dozens of countries that say Maduro's re-election a year ago was rigged.

Venezuela's chief justice is asking lawmakers to strip opposition leader Juan Guaido of his parliamentary immunity - a move that could pave the way for him being jailed.

Maduro calls Guaido a puppet of the United States, which he says is seeking to force him from office through a coup.

Guaido declared himself interim president in late January, saying Maduro's May 2018 reelection was illegitimate.

Earlier on Sunday, Venezuela's Communication Minister Jorge Rodriguez said that public and private sector workers would stop working at 2 pm (1800 GMT) on Monday while school children will be given another day off while work continued to fix the network.

Maduro is also warning against any unrest in reaction to the blackouts, although there were already scattered protests earlier Sunday following a call by opposition leader Juan Guaido to demonstrate against the government's failure to provide basic services.

"Every time the power goes out, or we do not have water, or we do not have gas, guess what we are going to do?" "There's been no water since (last) Monday, you can't call by phone, we can't pay with cards or even eat".

Office worker Raquel Mayorca said Monday she didn't know if her lights were off because of another power failure - or whether it was part of the government's plans.

Guaido said in a twitter post late Sunday, "We'll see each other in the streets tomorrow", adding, "we will not hide from the dictator".

Other measures against Guaido also included "prohibition of selling his property, blocking and freezing of bank accounts or any other financial means in Venezuelan territory", the TSJ leader said.

With few details, it was hard to assess how effective the plan would be in restoring a consistent supply of power in the long term.

On Sunday, a mass of protesters took to the streets only to be threatened by contingents of alleged government supporters known as "colectivos" who appeared on motorbikes and quickly dispersed them.

"We don't buy that "chirolita" they have as president," Maradona said comparing the USA president Donald Trump to a famous 1970s Argentinian ventriloquist dummy.

Angel Velazquez said he bathed at work because he did not have water at home. "There are some who have not recognized Guaido but know that what happens in Venezuela is unacceptable".

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