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Massive Venezuela Power Outage, Raises Tensions Amid Crisis

Much of Venezuela was still without electricity this morning amid the country's worst-ever power outage, raising tensions in a country already on edge from ongoing political turmoil.


President Nicolas Maduro ordered schools and all government entities closed and told businesses not to open to facilitate work crews, trying to restore power.


By many accounts, the blackout hit 22 of 23 states, and it struck the capital at the peak of the evening rush hour Thursday, sending thousands of people on long nighttime treks home, through some of the world's most violent streets.


Until now, Caracas has been spared the worst of a collapse in the nation's grid, but the outage was still wreaking havoc more than 16 hours after it began.


Venezuela's socialist government blasted the power failure as an "electrical war" directed by the United States.