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South America Power Outages Latin America Caribbean Nicolas Maduro Venezuela United States Venezuela Plunges Into Darkness Amid Widespread Outage.

Much of Venezuela plunged into darkness Thursday evening, creating chaos as people struggled to navigate their way home amid what appeared to be one of the biggest blackouts yet in a country where power failures have become common.

The power outage began just as commuters were leaving work. Hundreds crammed the streets of Caracas, forced to walk because subway service was stopped. A snarl of cars jammed the streets amid confusion generated by blackened stoplights.

President Nicolas Maduro blasted the outage as an “electrical war” directed by the United States in a statement on Twitter. His information minister, Jorge Rodriguez, said right-wing extremists intent on creating pandemonium by leaving the South American nation without power for several days were behind the blackout, but he offered no proof.

“A little bit of patience,” Rodriguez urged on state television. “If you’re in your home, stay in your home. If you’re in a protected space or at work, it’s better for you to stay there.”

But as night wore on in Caracas, patience was running thin. Residents threw open their windows and banged pots and pans in the darkness. Some shouted out expletives and Maduro’s name in a sign of mounting frustration.

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