Opposition Protesters Scuffle with Police as Blackout Lingers


The Venezuelan president said thanks to a deployment made by his government on Friday, they had been able to "make progress in continuous recovery process" that restored electricity to 70 percent of the country, which was lost following the new attack on Saturday.

Police overnight had blocked the demonstration's organizers from setting up a stage at the site of the rally, opposition legislators said via Twitter. The putrid odor of rotting flesh hung around the entrance to Caracas' main Bello Monte morgue on Friday where refrigerators had stopped working and anxious relatives gathered outside, waiting to be allowed to bury their dead.

Venezuela's embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro accused the United States -particularly Florida Sen.

"We can't take in any more corpses", an employee said on condition of anonymity.

The mounting political pressure comes after one of the worst and longest blackouts in recent memory in Venezuela.

"We want to march!"

President Nicolas Maduro blasted the outage as an "electrical war" directed by the United States in a statement on Twitter.

President Nicolás Maduro's Government has largely ignored Guaidó, apparently hoping the opposition movement will exhaust itself, as previous such efforts have. The Venezuelan government denounced "sabotage" against the country's main electric power dam after a massive blackout left Caracas and vast regions of Venezuela in the dark. His information minister, Jorge Rodriguez, said right-wing extremists intent on creating pandemonium by leaving the South American nation without power for several days were behind the blackout, but he offered no proof.

Hospitals had reported awful problems and those with generators were using them only in emergencies, while flights were canceled, leaving hundreds of travelers stranded at airports.

The mounting political pressure comes as intermittent services returned to Caracas and the states of Miranda and Vargas, home to the country's worldwide airport and main port, following a major electricity outage that began on Thursday afternoon. "The little food we have is going bad". I'm going to the march because we need to change.

"Last night was insane", José Luis Mesa, a 49-year-old electrician whose infant grandchild was being treated in the emergency room, told The Washington Post.

"There's no water, no light, no food".

Guaido's declaration has intensified the crisis in Venezuela, home to the world's largest oil reserves, which has suffered more than four years of recession, hyperinflation and widespread shortages of basic goods.

While authorities expressed concern about the sick and elderly, and a few people had to be rescued from elevators, some residents in Caracas expressed awe at the sight of stars hanging over the normally bustling city of 2 million. Several columns of security forces moved on motorcycles.

Netblocks, a non-government group based in Europe that monitors internet censorship, said Saturday that the second outage had knocked out nearly all of Venezuela's telecommunications infrastructure.

Meanwhile a medical NGO Doctors for Health reported that at least 17 hospital patients had died as a direct result of the power cuts.

Venezuelan government officials countered that the United States was responsible for the outage and that Guaido had collaborated in the alleged sabotage.