Maduro enacts state of emergency in Venezuela

Latin America

In Venezuela the deteriorating economy is increasingly impacting the daily life of ordinary citizens.  President Nicolas Maduro has imposed an extended state of emergency while the opposition is pushing for a recall referendum. 

CCTV’s Stephen Gibbs reports from Caracas.

Citizens face state of emergency in Venezuela

The people of Venezuela are facing an economic crisis. Lines, for everything, are a way of life now in Venezuela. So much so that there are plenty of people here who earn more from standing in line, and then reselling what they buy, than actually having a conventional job.

Lines, for everything, are a way of life now in Venezuela. So much so that there are plenty of people here who earn more from standing in line, and then reselling what they buy, than actually having a conventional job.

But the most powerful message that all is not well here comes from the government itself. President Maduro has declared two states of emergency this year. On Friday he did so again, indicating that this one might be semi-permanent.

“That’s why I declare, today Friday May 13, a constitutional state of exception and economic emergency to protect our country. Here’s the decree, signed, approved,” Maduro said.

The measure gives him increased direct powers, including the option to use the army to take over food distribution.

Maduro also said, “We need to report, neutralize and defeat the external aggression that has been launched against our country.”

President Maduro says he believes that this country is under threat from abroad, and on that basis he is launching a nationwide military exercise next weekend.

Venezuela’s opposition meanwhile, which has the support of the majority of the population, is pushing for a recall referendum against the president.
It accuses the government of breaking the law by delaying and impeding this process. And that, it says, is dangerous.

Now, the 60-day state of emergency the government has imposed may give it the option to restrict opposition marches. But such a move is not without risk.