Despite pressure from frequent opposition marches and U.S. sanctions on the country's vital oil sector, Maduro is not open to negotiations on ending the political impasse and seems intent on trying to stay put, said Elliott Abrams, the Trump administration's envoy for Venezuela. The looters took food including pasta, rice and tomato sauce. One such looting of a supermarket on a Saturday led to a shootout with police and National Guard troops.
Guaido in a Sunday press conference criticized severely the government for failing to explain what was going on. Opposition leader, Juan Guaido, said, "This blackout demonstrates the inefficiency of the usurper".
As the United States has quickly ratcheted up sanctions against Venezuela to pressure Nicolas Maduro, bankers say they are shying away from doing even legitimate business with the crisis-wracked oil-producing country for fear of getting caught in the crossfire.
Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said the military deployed to protect Venezuela's power installations from alleged saboteurs.
"This situation only proves the existence and the scale of the humanitarian crisis that Maduro's regime refused to recognize", the member states said. "You should be on the side of the Venezuelan people", Elliott Abrams told Reuters in an interview.
"We're not offering services and we don't have any patients staying here because the generator is not working", said Chiquinquira Caldera, head of administration at the San Lucas clinic in the city of Maracaibo, as she played a game of Chinese checkers with doctors who were waiting for power to return.
Although this is the largest and longest power blackout Venezuela has experienced, the country has been having electricity interruptions lasting more than 24 hours for the past five years, especially in the western state of Zulia. Restrictions on imports have affected the provision of spare parts, while many skilled technical personnel have fled the country amid an exodus of more than 3 million Venezuelans in recent years.
Oil revenues remain at about 98 percent of the country's export profits and are crucial for Venezuela to keep the economy afloat, after the United States slapped virtually every possible sanction against Nicolas Maduro and his government.
Clinics in the sweltering western state of Zulia, which suffers chronic regional blackouts, had scaled back operations after almost 72 hours without power.
One source at a foreign company partnered with PDVSA in a joint venture said output was "stable". Reuters was unable to independently verify the figure, and the government's Information Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.