Venezuelan government targets Guaido as some power returns
CARACAS- The Associated Press
Venezuelan officials reported blackouts easing in some areas on March 12, while the chief prosecutor said opposition leader Juan Guaido is being investigated for allegedly sabotaging the national power grid, whose collapse last week has inflicted misery on millions.
The announcement by Tarek William Saab, the attorney general, escalated the Venezuelan government's standoff with Guaido.
Guaido, who is trying to oust President Nicolas Maduro and hold elections, blames corruption and incompetence for nearly a week of nationwide blackouts that deprived most of the already struggling population not just of electricity, but also water and communications.
Adding to tension over Venezuela's fate, the United States said it was withdrawing its last diplomats still in Caracas. The U.S. State Department also said U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Venezuela should leave the country, a heightening of an advisory issued Jan. 29 that said they should "strongly consider" doing so.
Maduro also said he would seek the help of allies Cuba, Russia, China and Iran in investigating his allegation a U.S. "cyberattack" targeted Venezuelan power facilities, which he claimed was launched from Houston and Chicago.
In the meantime, Guaido vowed on March 12 to take Maduro's place in the presidential palace "very soon," as thousands of people took to the streets of Caracas to protest.
"We need an office to work in, so very soon, and when we have the armed forces totally on our side, we'll go to find my office there in Miraflores. Very soon," Guaido told supporters.