Venezuela declares electricity emergency

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The government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared a 90-day "electricity emergency."

Maduro, sworn in April 19 following the death of President Hugo Chavez, served the controversial leader as vice president and minister of foreign affairs. While Maduro won a special election to replace Chavez, the constitutionality of his inauguration and the legitimacy of the election have been challenged by his political opposition, according to reports.

The government has ordered the state-owned utility Corpolec to do everything necessary to bring power grids back into operation. The government has reportedly authorized the military to guard critical assets from vandalism.

Maduro has unveiled a federal-level electricity "mission" meant to stabilize the energy sector.

Venezuelan officials are blaming sporadic power outages on sabotage and uncontrolled energy use, however it seems Maduro is inheriting Chavez's periodic struggles to keep power flowing through the country.

Chavez worked to nationalize Venezuela's power industry. In 2010, the country was hit with significant outages.

Before the election on March 25, Maduro blamed political opponents for planning to sabotage the power grid in an effort to sway the people against him and disrupt the election.

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