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    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during his visit to the Hydroelectric Generation System on the Caroni River, near Ciudad Guayana | Photo: Reuters

Published 17 March 2019

The exercises aimed "to perfect the people's organization," and "deploy all our forces" to prevent further attacks on the power grid or water distribution network, Maduro said.

Venezuela on Saturday launched civic-military exercises to protect the nation's public services in the wake of a recently purported sabotage of the electricity system.

"The Comprehensive Action Exercises begin to protect the nation's strategic public services," President Nicolas Maduro tweeted.

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"We will not allow the enemies of the state to once again rob the heroic Venezuelan people of their tranquility," he added.

The exercises aimed "to perfect the people's organization," and "deploy all our forces" to prevent further attacks on the power grid or water distribution network, Maduro said.

Among the tasks to be carried out was "maintenance," such as bolstering communications between the different supply stations, the president said.

Electricity went off in many parts of the country on March 7 and schools and government offices were shut down in the aftermath. The worst blackout in modern Venezuelan history came amid heightened tensions between the ruling socialist party and the right-wing opposition.

Maduro on Tuesday declared victory after his government succeeded in restoring electricity following a prolonged blackout.


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