Juan Guaido to ask legislature to declare 'state of alarm' in Venezuela

Juan Guaido. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela Mar 11, 2019, 05.57 AM (IST)

National Assembly leader Juan Guaido said Sunday he will ask the Venezuelan legislature to declare a "state of alarm" in order to request international aid amid a massive power outage.

Guaido, who declared himself acting president in January, told reporters he has convened an emergency session of the National Assembly on Monday "to take immediate actions with respect to the necessary humanitarian aid."

The move came amid a crippling power outage that has paralyzed much of the country and put at risk patients in need of hospital care or dialysis since it began on Thursday.

Hospitals with generators were using them for emergency care. Concerns were growing that already limited food supplies were beginning to spoil.

"We must attend to this catastrophe immediately. We cannot turn away from it," said Guaido, who has been recognized as acting president by more than 50 countries.

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 Colombia and Brazil.

Maduro has claimed that the power outage at the country's Guri hydroelectric complex, the source of 80 per cent of the country's power, was caused by a cyber attack.

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'We must attend to this catastrophe immediately. We cannot turn away from it,' said Guaido, who has been recognized as acting president by more than 50 countries.