Venezuela has been in political turmoil over the past few months, with the opposition holding widespread anti-government protests, blaming Maduro for an ailing economy, hyperinflation, power cuts, and shortages of basic items.
Opposition figure Juan Guaido declared himself Venezuela’s “interim president” on January 23, deepening the crisis. Washington took the lead in recognizing the 35-year-old opposition figure’s claim, followed by the US’s major European allies, including France, Germany, and Britain.
Maduro has repeatedly blamed Venezuela’s woes on US intervention and accused Washington of attempting a coup as well as sabotage against his government.
During the past week, recurring power outages have occurred. The Maduro government has accused Washington of being behind the outages by conducting “electromagnetic” attacks on Venezuela’s hydroelectric dams.
Venezuelans are to hold rallies across the country, amid massive blackouts which the government blames on a US “cyberattack” against the country’s electric system.
On Wednesday, China offered to step in.
“China hopes that Venezuela can quickly find the cause of this accident and restore normal power and social order,” said China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang at a regular briefing. “China is willing to offer assistance and technical support to Venezuela to restore the power system.”
The government has managed to partially restore electricity services in the country, putting an end to a five-day blackout across the country, but the supply has been intermittent and often drops out.
Maduro has already called for support from allies, including Russia and China as well as the United Nations (UN), in investigating the “US cyber attack” he claims was responsible for the blackout.
Elsewhere in his comments, Lu said that Beijing was “very concerned” about reports of a cyber attack, but declined to directly blame Washington. “This I’m afraid can only be clarified and explained by the party accused by President Maduro.”
Businesses and schools have been shut down on the president’s orders since the blackout began.