In an attempt to get a handle on nationwide power outages that have been occurring daily in the country, Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro said the country would begin rationing electricity for the next 30 days.
The Associated Press reported that Maduro made the announcement Sunday evening on national television, claiming the plan would help cut down on the power outages that are leading to days-long cutoffs of water and communications. Maduro also reportedly warned Venezuelans against protesting the 30-day rationing.
Maduro has also asked armed government supporters to help keep the peace during the rationing, according to The Guardian.
Maduro claimed the country is “facing a group of monsters who want to destroy Venezuela,” and called on “revolutionary and patriotic” pro-government groups “to defend the peace of every barrio, of every block.”
Opposition leader Juan Guaido, on the other hand, called on Venezuelans to protest against Maduro’s government for failing “to provide basic services,” the AP reported.
“Guaido says years of government neglect and corruption has left the electrical grid in shambles after years of mismanagement. Maduro alleges U.S.-led sabotage is the cause of the power cuts, although he has not provided clear evidence,” the AP reported.
Venezuela residents began banging pots and pans from their balconies to protest the outages. Those responding to Guaido blocked roads and burned trash until government supporters arrived.
In the past, Maduro has blamed power outages on America’s CIA, iguanas, opossums, and even the wind. In 2012, the government blamed an opossum for chewing through a cable that led to a day-long blackout. In 2010, an iguana was blamed. In 2014, heavy winds from El Nino were to blame.
The AP also reported that the power has been going out in Venezuela each day for at least the past three days, and the country has had electricity problems for years. The AP reported that residents are concerned about when the next outage will occur.
“No one can put up with this. We spend almost all day without electricity,” Karina Camacho told the AP. “There’s been no water since (last) Monday, you can’t call by phone, we can’t pay with cards or even eat.”
This year, the situation in Venezuela has become even worse. Pro-government groups loyal to Maduro blocked aid trucks carrying medical supplies and food in February, The Daily Wire previously reported. Opposition forces began violently clashing with Maduro’s supporters, leading to at least four deaths, more than 300 people being injured, and the supplies being set on fire.