Maduro Announces Start Of New Military Drills In Venezuela After Week-Long Blackout
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the start of the second stage of the country's large-scale military drills on Saturday, following a nearly week-long nationwide blackout
The first stage of the drills, dubbed Angostura, was held in mid-February. This time, the drills are dedicated to the protection of the national electric power grid following the major blackout that swept the country last week. On Friday, Maduro also announced the creation of a new structure within the armed forces tasked with protecting key national infrastructure.
"The complex military exercises dubbed Ana Karina Rote have started to protect the strategic services of the country. We will not allow the enemies of the motherland to steal the peace of the heroic Venezuelan people again," Maduro wrote on Twitter.
On March 7, a massive power outage swept through the majority of Venezuelan states, leaving the nation � over 30 million people � without access to basic amenities, including water and medical care at hospitals. National electricity supplier Corpoelec insisted that the blackout was the result of sabotage at the major Guri hydroelectric power plant in the country's east. Maduro has pinned the blame for the crisis on the United States, while Washington has denied having a role in the blackout.
Power supply was fully restored across Venezuela on Wednesday, according to Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez.