(CARACAS, Venezuela) — A new power outage spread across much of Venezuela on Monday, knocking communications offline and stirring fears of a repeat of the chaos almost two weeks ago during the nation’s largest-ever blackout.

The outage began shortly after 1 p.m. (1700 GMT) and appeared to have affected as many as 16 of Venezuela’s 23 states, according to reports on social media.

As with the previous outage, the government of President Nicolas Maduro sought to blame U.S.-backed opponents, accusing them of sabotaging the Guri dam, source of the bulk of Venezuela’s electricity.

They said the “attack” had already been controlled, with service restored in many areas and others expected to come online in the coming hours.


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