New blackout takes Venezuelans by surprise; government alleges 'electromagnetic attack'

Venezuelan cities can be among the most violent in the world.

While different states have suffered from blackouts over the past few months, this is the first one to affect the entire country since March.

The streets of the capital city of Caracas were complete chaos as people rushed to get home before it got dark and phone service completely collapsed in one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

Buses were out of room for people who were desperately trying to get to their houses after the subway closed due to the lack of power.

The government was quick to announce it was a new attack, with communications minister Jorge Rodríguez calling the event an "electromagnetic attack" aimed at the main provider of power in the country.

Embattled president Nicolas Maduro tweeted in Spanish, "With the new criminal attack against the peace of the country, the Bolivarian Government and the armed forces are deployed to meet the needs of the people."

Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has been recognized as the rightful leader of the country by the United States -- and 53 other countries -- since January, also addressed this matter over Twitter.

"They tried to hide the tragedy with (power) rationing throughout the country, but the failure is evident: They’ve destroyed the electrical system and have no answers," he said.

Guaido took the opportunity to invite Venezuelans to an open assembly on Wednesday where he would be making "important announcements."

Caracas saw 2,980 murders in 2018, more than any other Latin American country, according to Mexico-based nonprofit Seguridad, Justicia y Paz. It's murder rate of 100 per 100,000 inhabitants was third in Latin America.

Two other Venezuelan cities, Guayana (seventh) and Ciudad Bolivar (10th) also finished in the top 10 last year, according to the group.

Some users on Twitter said the power was back in some areas of the country late Monday.

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