Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro has praised the armed forces for staying loyal to him and defeating a “coup” led by the US and opposition chief Juan Guaidó.
Throughout a rally, Mr Maduro additionally blamed Venezuela’s widespread energy cuts on “cyber assaults” by the opposition.
His remarks got here throughout a day of protests within the nation by pro-government and opposition teams.
Within the capital Caracas, some supporters of Mr Guaidó scuffled with police.
Mr Maduro has retained the help of the navy and shut allies together with Russia and China since Mr Guaidó declared himself interim president on 23 January.
What’s the newest?
Talking outdoors the Miraflores presidential palace, Mr Maduro referred to Mr Guaidó as “a clown and a puppet” of the US.
“They invited the armed forces to hold out a navy coup and their reply was clear – they’ve defeated the coup plotters,” he stated.
In the meantime, police have been out in pressure throughout an opposition march within the metropolis.
Some protesters pushed towards police in riot gear shouting “murderers” and officers responded by firing pepper spray at them.
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Media captionProtesters tried to push again traces of riot police in Caracas
Addressing the rally, Mr Guaidó introduced he would embark on a tour of the nation and summon all his supporters to attend a mass protest in Caracas “very quickly”.
“We’re going to come, all of Venezuela to Caracas, as a result of we want all of them united,” he stated.
Mr Guaidó, who leads the opposition-controlled Nationwide Meeting, has been recognised as interim president by greater than 50 nations.
What is the background?
President Maduro has repeatedly accused Mr Guaidó of attempting to mount a coup towards him with the assistance of “US imperialists”.
Mr Maduro took over the presidency when his late mentor Hugo Chavez died in 2013. Lately Venezuela has skilled financial collapse, with extreme meals shortages and inflation reaching not less than 800,000% final 12 months.
The Maduro authorities is changing into more and more remoted as an increasing number of nations blame it for the financial disaster, which has prompted greater than three million folks to depart Venezuela.
Plunged again into darkness
By Will Grant, BBC Information, Caracas
On the finish of what had been one in all Venezuela’s extra fraught days of the latest interval of political upheaval, the lights went out once more. Caracas was plunged again into darkness with the overwhelming majority of town nonetheless with out energy. Points are being reported from different cities elsewhere within the nation too.
President Maduro had used his demonstration to thank the navy for his or her position in holding off what he described as an tried coup as he continued to insist the blackout is a part of a US plan for his downfall. Elsewhere, supporters of Mr Guaidó cited the ability reduce as simply one of many causes they need him gone, and shortly.
But that’s unlikely to occur in a single day, even with widespread blackouts throughout the nation. For now, Mr Guaidó intends to journey the nation to drum up help after which maintain one other enormous march in Caracas. Forward could lie extra demonstrations, extra makes an attempt to usher in humanitarian assist towards the federal government’s will, extra potential for clashes.
Within the meantime, Venezuela is quick changing into ungovernable, with two males claiming legitimacy as president and a inhabitants caught within the center, rising more and more determined for the return of electrical energy and fundamental companies.
What occurred with the ability cuts?
The widespread energy cuts since Thursday have reportedly been brought on by issues on the Guri hydroelectric plant in Bolivar state – one of many largest such amenities in Latin America.
A recent blackout struck on Saturday, El Nacional newspaper reported, slicing energy to many areas the place it had beforehand been restored.
In Caracas, visitors lights in some areas have been again in motion however the metropolis’s metro remained closed, reviews stated.
Venezuela is dependent upon its huge hydroelectric infrastructure, quite than its oil reserves, for its home electrical energy provide. However many years of underinvestment have broken the most important dams, and sporadic blackouts are commonplace.
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Media captionA lot of the nation, together with Caracas, was plunged into darkness
President Maduro stated on Saturday substations had been underneath cyber assault with “the help and help of the US”.
He informed supporters that just about 70% of energy had been restored however at noon there was one other “assault at one of many mills that was working completely and that disturbed and undid all the pieces we had achieved.”
“We now have proof and they are going to be held accountable,” the Venezuelan premier added.
“We may also introduce new measures to guard our electrical system from hackers.”
Mr Guaidó has blamed the blackouts on years of under-investment.
On Friday, some hospitals noticed chaotic scenes as family tried to maneuver sufferers in the dead of night to different medical amenities with emergency energy mills.
In Caracas’s College Hospital, 25-year-old affected person Marielsi Aray died after her respirator stopped working.
“The medical doctors tried to assist her by pumping manually, they did all the pieces they may, however with no electrical energy, what have been they to do?” stated her uncle Jose Lugo.
Mills at a Caracas youngsters’s hospital failed, with employees reportedly working in a single day utilizing their cellphones for gentle.