Venezuela blackout has plunged the country into darkness. This is the latest in a stream of bad news for the Latin American stumbling giant. After four consecutive days of outage, years of hardship are manifesting in the most destructive manner.
Shadow of uncertainty looms over more than 30 million people, who are lacking basic necessities. As they slowly give in to doom and gloom, the US Secretary of State announced the withdrawal of all residual diplomats.
The decision didn’t come as a surprise, but not everyone is familiar with the reasons behind it.
Skeletons in the Closet
On late Monday, Trump’s administration has recalled the remaining diplomatic staff.
It was a skeleton crew that remained at that point, due to tensions between two countries reaching their climax. The tactical retreat has both to do with the Venezuela power woes and foreign policy strategy.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has declared via an official Tweet that decision is a result of the deteriorating situation. He also wrote that the presence of diplomats imposes constraints on what the U.S. can do. It’s clear all options are on the table now.
In other words, the U.S. government wants to oust Maduro one way or the other. Of course, it not alone in this aspiration—50 more countries recognize Guaidó as a legitimate president. On the other hand, Maduro enjoys support from the likes of Russia, China, and Cuba.
The international scuffle is on the roll.
Chasing the Elusive Truth
In light of these events, we have to separate the hearsay from the truth. This is nothing short of a daunting task, but we’ll dive in nevertheless.
First of all, Pompeo’s assessment rings true.
The situation went from bad to worse when Venezuela descended into the dark on Tuesday. In a country where few people are able to go green, this has devastating consequences. Some experts pointed out the problems with the primary hydroelectric as the official culprit.
Maduro was having none of it. He put the blame on the US-orchestrated sabotage and coup attempt. Alas, he failed to present any concrete evidence to back his claim.
On the other hand, US-backed Guaidó said that government’s corruption and mismanagement is the direct cause for Venezuela blackout.
One common thread across a divided political spectrum is a notion that the dire situation won’t be resolved quickly.
The Real Face of Venezuela Blackout
Many details are hard to confirm, but here is what we know so far.
In the capital of Caracas, truly surreal scenes are unfolding.
Swarms of cars are waiting for hours to get fuel. Still-operational gas stations and in short supply. In some neighborhoods, water pumps have stopped working. Looted supermarkets and closed businesses are a common sight.
It is difficult to find anything from transcription services to groceries. Turmoil has affected every sector of economy and domain of the state. Mobile communication is in tatters and schools and public offices are still closed.
Rich families have taken refuge in luxury hotels or fled abroad. The poor are not as fortunate and wander the streets in despair. They even started filling their bottles with water from polluted rivers.
Sporadic restoration of power takes place in some neighborhoods, but they are few and far in between. The humanitarian situation is getting increasingly grim with each passing day.
The more this nightmare drags on, the more rampant violence and chaos become. The country is on the brink of total collapse and there is no telling what horror will ensure in the wake of it.
A Distant, Flickering Light
The oil behemoth is running on fumes. Power, water, and communication are down in many areas, dragging millions of people into the abyss of precariousness. The U.S. diplomats have retreated and the relationships between countries sank to historic lows.
As internal political gridlock prevails and hyperinflation lays waste to the economy, Venezuela blackout continues. The light at the end of the tunnel grows ever more distant.
It might be time to pause for a moment and consider what kind of twisted world we live in. Keep your eyes wide open and stay well informed!