Even as the Venezuelan government blamed the recent power outage on U.S.-led “sabotage,” the U.S. has long had a plan on the books for targeting the civilian power grid of adversarial nations.
'CARACAS, VENEZUELA — For nearly four days, much of Venezuela has been without power, bringing the country’s embattled economy to a near standstill. Though power is now returning, the outage saw U.S. officials and politicians blame the Venezuelan government for the crisis while officials in Caracas accused the U.S. of conducting “sabotage” and launching cyberattacks that targeted its civilian power grid as well as of employing saboteurs within Venezuela.
Although many mainstream media outlets have echoed the official U.S. government response, some journalists have strayed from the pack. One notable example is Kalev Leetaru, who wrote at Forbes that “the United States remotely interfering with its [Venezuela’s] power grid is actually quite realistic.”
Leetaru also noted that “timing such an outage to occur at a moment of societal upheaval in a way that delegitimizes the current government, exactly as a government-in-waiting has presented itself as a ready alternative, is actually one of the tactics” he had previously explored in a 2015 article detailing U.S. government hybrid warfare tactics “to weaken an adversary prior to conventional invasion or to forcibly and deniably effect a transition in a foreign government.”
In addition to Leetaru’s claims, others have asserted U.S. government involvement after U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who is deeply involved in Trump’s Venezuela policy, appeared to have prior knowledge that the blackouts would occur when he tweeted about them only three minutes after they had begun.
While several journalists have pointed out that the probability that the Trump administration was responsible for the blackout is highly likely, few — if any — pointed out that the U.S. has long had highly developed plans involving the use of cyberattacks to attack critical power-grid infrastructure in countries targeted for regime change by Washington.
Indeed, the most well-known plan of this type, known by its codename “Nitro Zeus,” was originally created under the George W. Bush administration and was aimed at Iran. With so many former Bush officials now calling the shots in the Trump administration, particularly its Venezuela policy, the potential return of a “Nitro Zeus” virus, this time tailored to Venezuela, seems increasingly likely.'
Read more: Operation Nitro Zeus - “Lights Out!” Did Trump and His Neocons Recycle Bush-Era Plan to Knock Out Venezuela’s Power Grid?