Venezuela buckles under massive power, communications outage

Venezuela buckles under massive power, communications outage

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s worst power and communications outage on Friday deepened a sense of isolation and decay, endangering hospital patients, forcing schools and businesses to close and cutting people off from their families, friends and the outside world. While electricity returned to some parts of Caracas nearly 24 hours after lights, phones and the internet stopped working, the blackout was another harsh blow to a country paralyzed by economic and political turmoil.

Many of the few shops that were open were only accepting cash because without electricity and the internet they couldn’t process debit card payments, a common method of doing transactions in Venezuela since hyperinflation transformed the bolivar into one of the world’s most worthless currencies.

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