Most of Venezuela was without power Thursday and Friday as the country, already grappling with a political and humanitarian crisis, faced another dangerous threat: a near-total power outage.

Schools, offices and shops shut down, and doctors and nurses struggled to keep hospitals running, with generators in short supply. President Nicolás Maduro blamed Washington for the blackout, saying on Twitter, “The electricity war declared and directed by the imperialist United States against our people will be overcome!”

Maduro is facing growing calls to step down as a number of countries, including the United States, have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president.

The power outage sparked fear at hospitals in the capital, where the lack of generators meant health workers were left to work in the dark with limited equipment and choose specific areas to provide with electricity. On Friday, the University Hospital of Caracas had electricity in only a few areas, including the emergency room and the neonatal ward, thanks to generators.

“Last night was crazy,” José Luis Mesa, a 49-year-old electrician whose infant grandchild was being treated in the emergency room, told The Washington Post. “We saw how the security guards ran all over the place to get diesel.”

These photos capture the mood in Venezuela at night throughout the lengthy blackout.

Zuñiga reported from Caracas and O’Grady from Washington.

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