8 Mar 2019: As an illustration of the severe problems that Venezuela is facing, the country experienced a widespread blackout last night. It stopped subway service in Caracas and caused problems all around the country. Not surprisingly, there was no agreement on what caused the blackout. The Maduro government blamed sabotage by right-wing “criminals”, while the opposition identified incompetence of the current regime as the root cause of the problem. The dire economic situation in Venezuela has further deteriorated since Venezuela’s opposition leader, Mr. Juan Guaido, declared himself interim president on January 23rd and the United States announced tough additional sanctions on January 28th. The sanctions, which ban U.S. companies and individuals from dealing with Venezuela’s state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) have hit the country hard. While the Maduro regime continues to hang on to power, the crude oil and product trades around the country are in turmoil.
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