On February 28, a massive blackout plunged most of Venezuela into darkness. Some people were without electricity for more than 96 hours. Schools had to be closed, hospitals struggled to keep patients alive and simple things like getting clean water or having food in the fridge became impossible.
“I handed out the food so it wouldn't go to waste,” Luisa Changir—a 60-year-old Caracas resident—told VICE News. “Water is pumped with electricity so we don't have any now.” Changir is a diabetic and being without power also meant having to use insulin that had not been properly refrigerated. “Things are looking quite bleak for us here”, she said.
The government of Nicolás Maduro said a failure at the Guri hydroelectric plant—the country’s main producer of electricity—caused the power outage. According to Maduro, it was an act “sabotage” by his opponents. But blackouts are not new to Venezuela. In the state of Zulia for example, people have been dealing with multiple daily power outages for more than a year.
"We don't have any accurate information will return to normal," Changir said.