China pledged to help Venezuela repair its power grid network

China offered on Wednesday to assist Venezuela in fixing its damaged power grid network. President Nicholas Maduro, who still retains control of the army and other state institutions accused the U.S. of conducting cyber sabotage in the country’s electricity network. Further, the Venezuelan President denounced the international community for maintaining the financial sanctions regime and hindering Caracas efforts for economic recovery. President Maduro also criticised the self-proclaimed opposition President Juan Guaido as a marionette of foreign powers.

Venezuela is currently entrapped into a sixth day power outage. This development has worsened the already grave humanitarian conditions within the country, with hospitals facing operational difficulties, food reserves rotting from tropical temperatures and oil terminals operating at sub-optimal levels. Aware of these developments, the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang offered Beijing to facilitate Caraca’s efforts to repair its power grid network and check the origins of its failure. No additional details were given on how this assistance will take place or what kind of investigations will be pursued to verify the possibility of an external cyber-attack on the country’s power grid network.

Electricity returned to several distant areas of Venezuela on Tuesday. Still, several areas including neighbourhoods in Caracas and the adjacent regions north of the Colombian borders have not yet been powered up. Venezuela’s Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez verified the news about progressive restoration of electricity in large parts of the country.

Last Thursday’s power outage most likely originated from a technical malfunction along the electricity transmission lines which connect the Guri hydroelectric plant, one of the major sources of electricity in Venezuela and a hub within the power grid network. The Guri hydroelectric plant is located in the south-eastern part of the country, roughly 700 kilometres off Caracas. Even though such allegations cannot be verified so far, President Maduro attributes the power outage to an externally-sourced cyber-attack which effectively compromised Venezuela’s power grid network.

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