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Hospital power outage in Caracas leaves 2 dead, Maduro blames opposition

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (c.) attends a session of the National Constituent Assembly on Jan. 14, 2019, where he blames the opposition for the electricity outage Saturday night at the University Clinical Hospital (HCU) of Caracas that left at least two patients dead. EFE-EPA/Miguel Gutierrez

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (c.) attends a session of the National Constituent Assembly on Jan. 14, 2019, where he blames the opposition for the electricity outage Saturday night at the University Clinical Hospital (HCU) of Caracas that left at least two patients dead. EFE-EPA/Miguel Gutierrez

EFE

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blamed the opposition Monday for the electricity outage Saturday night at the University Clinical Hospital (HCU) of Caracas that left at least two patients dead.

“They sabotaged the electrical charging and recharging systems, they detached them, they took them away, all to create a show for the international media,” Maduro said during the presentation of his report and accounts to the National Constituent Assembly (ANC), a forum made up of Chavistas only whose legitimacy many countries refuse to acknowledge.

Though the government has not reported the number of fatalities, local media and spokespersons of the medical profession speak of two patients who lost their lives while enclosed in the intensive care unit on life support, and who passed away during the blackout.

Maduro said Monday that the Venezuelan opposition is under orders from a “group of terrorists” that his government plans “to deal with severely” and “defeat.”

“They have even gone to the despicable extreme of attacking hospitals and health centers...their daily plan is this media show, the false positives...the terrorist attacks on public services, on the electric system and hospitals,” he said.

According to other reports like the one offered by the former secretary general of the MUD opposition alliance, Jesus Torrealba - who cited internal hospital sources - there would be seven deaths following the electricity outage.

Hospital workers told Venezuelan media that the backup power plants have not been working for months, and were never replaced despite their many warnings.

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s Electrical Energy Minister Luis Motta Dominguez slammed the supposed sabotage of the system that provides electricity to the medical center, which he described as “an abomination,” but without saying how many patients died.


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