Blackouts became daily occurrences across the country. 'We don't know yet if those were intentional or something that was going wrong,' Ortega said. 'If you don't have power, you have no water.'
Opposition blamed corruption and mismanagement under Maduro for the blackouts, while Maduro has blamed U.S. cyber attacks.
During the blackouts, his brother in Venezuela died. He suffered a stroke, went to a hospital; doctors couldn't help him because there was no power. 'He agonized and died in front of them; nobody could do anything.'
He was at work when he learned of his brother's death and says his co-workers were supportive of him during that difficult time.
'Venezuelans never, ever used to be moving to different countries. We were very happy with all the famous (baseball) players and Miss Universes that we have. And then everything is gone. It's no longer the country when I was a kid.'