Source: Daily Mail
Some Venezuelans have taken to looting supermarkets in Caracas during the fourth day of blackouts, which have paralysed the country.
Pictures reveal that some supermarkets in the capital have been left ransacked by desperate residents as they struggle to find food.
Security forces detained a number of people who were caught looting on Sunday, with some pictures showing looters being piled onto waiting trucks.
Armed men were seen forcefully escorting young men and women to the trucks.
The country will enter its fifth consecutive day of power outages on Monday, which have also forced people to rummage through bins for food, queue to charge electronic devices using a solar panel and buy bread with 100-dollar bills after the country was hit by a fourth day of blackouts.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido called for a nation-wide march on Caracas to crank up the pressure on embattled President Nicolas Maduro, as the country endured its third night largely without power.
The massive blackout, crippling the oil-rich but economically troubled South American nation, has fuelled the political standoff between Guaido, who is recognised as Venezuela’s leader by more than 50 countries, and Maduro, who is clinging to power.
No national data was available about the impact of the power outage, but an NGO said at least 15 patients with advanced kidney disease died after they stopped receiving dialysis treatments in darkened hospitals.
As of Sunday, businesses remained shut, hospitals struggled to operate, and public transport barely functioned.
The 35-year-old Guaido, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, earlier told thousands of supporters that he would soon embark on a nation-wide listening tour before leading a march on the capital.
National Assembly leader Juan Guaido said he will ask the Venezuelan legislature to declare a ‘state of alarm’ in order to request international aid amid the massive power outage.
Guaido, who declared himself acting president in January, said he has convened an emergency session of the National Assembly on Monday ‘to take immediate actions with respect to the necessary humanitarian aid’.
‘We must attend to this catastrophe immediately. We cannot turn away from it,’ said Guaido.
President Nicolas Maduro has so far rejected international aid, using his security forces to repel an opposition bid last month to bring in aid through neighbouring countries Colombia and Brazil.
Maduro has claimed that the power outage at the country’s Guri hydroelectric complex, the source of 80 percent of the country’s power, was caused by a cyberattack.
Addressing supporters in southwestern Caracas, Guaido – the leader of the opposition-run congress who invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency in January – said Maduro’s government ‘has no way to solve the electricity crisis that they themselves created’.
‘Once we’ve finished the tour, the organisation in every state, we’ll announce the date when all together, we’ll come to Caracas,’ Guaido said, a megaphone in his hand as he stood on the roof of a pickup truck.
‘All of Venezuela, to Caracas’, Guaido yelled while standing atop a bridge, without saying when the planned protest would be held. ‘The days ahead will be difficult, thanks to the regime.’
Activists had scuffled with police and troops ahead of the rally, meant to pressure Maduro amid the blackout, which the governing Socialist Party called an act of U.S.-sponsored sabotage but opposition critics derided as the result of two decades of mismanagement and corruption.
Security forces had prevented the opposition from setting up a stage at their original protest site, arresting three people.
Dozens of demonstrators attempted to walk along an avenue in Caracas but were moved onto the sidewalk by police in riot gear, leading them to shout at the officers and push on their riot shields. One woman was sprayed with pepper spray, according to a local broadcaster.
The power flickered on and off in parts of Caracas on Saturday morning, including the presidential palace of Miraflores.