Venezuelans ‘loot to eat’ amid economic tailspin


In this Jan. 23, 2018 photo, a youth moves quickly to collect grains of corn on the street that fell from a truck that was looted outside the port in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela. At the country’s biggest port, people swarmed a corn-carrying truck and began filling up sacks with the grain while the driver was held at gunpoint. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

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Venezuela: Helicopter strafes court in ‘terrorist attack’

Nicolas Maduro

FILE – In this June 22, 2017 file photo, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro gives a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela. Maduro said a helicopter fired on Venezuela’s Supreme Court in a confusing incident that he claimed was part of a conspiracy to destabilize his socialist government, on Tuesday, June 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillo

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Venezuela’s socialist leaders seize bakeries in ‘bread war’

In this March 17, 2017 photo, an employee of the Minka state-run bakery carries bags of bread to be distributed to state-run grocery stores in Caracas, Venezuela. Agents from the National Superintendent of Fair Prices raided Mansion’s Bakery last week and accused the owners of hoarding scarce sacks of government-imported flour, saying the subsidized goods should have been used to make price-regulated loaves but instead was turned into more expensive croissants and sweet rolls. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

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Violence flares in Venezuela on anniversary of 2014 fatalities

An opposition students is carry away after being injured during against President Nicolas Maduro's government in San Cristobal

An opposition students is carry away after being injured during against President Nicolas Maduro’s government in San Cristobal, February 12, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez

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Power Blackouts Hit Nearly Half of Venezuela


(AP)  A power outage hit nearly half of Venezuela on Tuesday, knocking out traffic lights and causing chaos in the streets of Caracas.

Deputy Energy Minister Franco Silva said failures on several transmission lines were to blame for the blackout and told state TV that nine of Venezuela’s 23 states were affected.

Venezuelans have been struggling with worsening blackouts for several years, but the capital is almost always spared.

President Nicolas Maduro said the oil industry, the lifeblood of the economy, was not affected by the outage.

The capital’s subway service was temporarily interrupted, and authorities evacuated riders from several trains.

Opposition politicians say the government hasn’t invested enough in the electrical grid and generating plants to keep up with growing demand.

Authorities say delays in several initiatives designed to boost electricity output are partly to blame. But they also have often suggested that government foes sabotaged the grid, and Maduro raised that as a possibility for Tuesday’s blackout.