China Offers Help to Restore Power in Venezuela

China says it is ready to help crisis-hit Venezuela to restore power in the country, as the South American nation faces a crippling multi-day power blackout that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has blamed on the United States.

Venezuela has been in political turmoil over the past few months. Opposition figure Juan Guaido declared himself Venezuela’s “interim president” on January 23, deepening the crisis. Washington took the lead in recognizing the 35-year-old opposition figure’s claim, followed by the US’s major European allies, including France, Germany, and Britain.

Maduro has repeatedly blamed Venezuela’s woes on US intervention and accused Washington of attempting a coup as well as sabotage against his government.

 During the past week, recurring power outages have occurred. The Maduro government has accused Washington of being behind the outages by conducting “electromagnetic” attacks on Venezuela’s hydroelectric dams.

“China hopes that Venezuela can quickly find the cause of this accident and restore normal power and social order,” said China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang at a regular briefing. “China is willing to offer assistance and technical support to Venezuela to restore the power system.”

The government has managed to partially restore electricity services in the country, putting an end to a five-day blackout across the country, but the supply has been intermittent and often drops out.

Maduro has already called for support from allies, including Russia and China as well as the United Nations (UN), in investigating the “US cyber attack” he claims was responsible for the blackout.

Elsewhere in his comments, Lu said that Beijing was “very concerned” about reports of a cyber attack, but declined to directly blame Washington.

Businesses and schools have been shut down on the president’s orders since the blackout began.