China offers to help Venezuela restore power

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 13, 2019 - Duration: 01:41s

China offers to help Venezuela restore power

China offered on Wednesday to help Venezuela restore its power grid, after President Nicolas Maduro accused his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump of cyber "sabotage" that plunged the South American country into its worst blackout on record.

Yahaira Jacquez reports.

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China offers to help Venezuela restore power

As the worst power outage in Venezuela's history drags on, China has offered to help.

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN, LU KANG, SAYING: "China hopes that the Venezuelan side can discover the reason for this issue as soon as possible and resume normal power supply and social order.

We are willing to provide help and technical support." Caracas and other cities were plunged into darkness Thursday after the country's main hydroelectric plant broke down.

The blackout has fueled anger among citizens, who say their food - already scarce - is rotting in their refrigerators.

It has also intensified the political climate with opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido calling the power failure the product of corruption and incompetence.

While President Nicolas Maduro without evidence blaming the power outage on 'cyber' sabotage by the U.S. But China seems willing to consider that possibility.

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN, LU KANG, SAYING: "There are reports saying that the system affected by this accident was the Venezuelan national power grid which suffered a hacking attack.

This is also what we saw written in relevant reports.

China is deeply concerned about this." Maduro - who's backed by China and Russia and retains control of the military - is facing an unprecedented political crisis, under pressure from the U.S. and other western nations to step down.

The outage has worsened the situation for many, who had trouble obtaining basic necessities like flour and toilet paper even before the blackout.

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