China offers help to Venezuela's worst power blackout on record
Updated 14:05, 14-Mar-2019
CGTN
00:37

China is concerned about western Venezuela's power blackout, reported to be the worst on record, and is offering help and technical support. The blackout took place just days after heavy looting in the South American country's second largest city.

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang made the remarks on Wednesday during a daily briefing. Lu hopes the country will find the cause of the incident as soon as possible.

Power had just returned to large parts of Venezuela after a nationwide outage last week, with the country's main port terminal of Jose, which is crucial for oil exports, resumed operations.

Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party blamed the outage on an act of U.S. sabotage, saying the country was a victim of a cybernetic attack on the national electrical grid system. Energy supplies remained patchy in the sweltering western state of Zulia, where anger after nearly a week without power overflowed into street violence.

A wholesale store is looted during the massive blackout that has paralyzed Venezuela for six days, in Maracaibo, in the border state of Zulia, March 13, 2019. /VCG Photo

A wholesale store is looted during the massive blackout that has paralyzed Venezuela for six days, in Maracaibo, in the border state of Zulia, March 13, 2019. /VCG Photo

Looters smashed shop windows and made off with merchandise in more than 300 businesses across the state, located along the border with Colombia, the Zulia chapter of business organization Fedecamaras said in a statement.

Venezuela, a nation that has long suffered from high crime rates and shortages of basic goods, had plunged into a deep political crisis in January ever since opposition leader Juan Guaido invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing Maduro's 2018 re-election was not legitimate.

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The United States is preparing to withdraw its remaining diplomats from Venezuela, an effort that will not involve the U.S. military, after President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday ordered them to leave within 72 hours.