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Opposition Rallies as Venezuela Blackout Eases in Some Areas

July 23, 2019

Venezuela's opposition on Tuesday sought to harness anger over a massive blackout that deepened hardship nationwide, but turnout at a Caracas demonstration was relatively modest as many Venezuelans despair of an imminent solution to their plight.

Lights came back on in parts of the capital and other areas of Venezuela overnight following a nearly nine-hour outage that the government blamed on an "electromagnetic attack" against the power grid, without providing any evidence. Government opponents say years of mismanagement and corruption were to blame...

Venezuela was once a wealthy oil nation, but an estimated 4 million residents have emigrated, tired of shortages of electricity and water, as well as food and medicine. U.S. sanctions have added to an economic crisis that has escalated for years, according to experts.

Still, the widespread frustration over yet another national blackout doesn't necessarily spell a breaking point for Maduro, said Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Washington-based Council of the Americas and Americas Society think tank.

"It furthers the narrative that Maduro can’t provide for his people, that basic services are a luxury that can't be taken for granted," Farnsworth said. "Is it enough to end the regime? I would say, no, it's not enough at this point."...

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