May 18 2016
The Venezuelan government released a gazette on Monday to implement a fresh extension of its State of Economic Emergency Decree, which was announced by President Nicolas Maduro on Friday, with new authorizations to tackle alleged domestic and foreign attempts to overthrow the government.
To defend territorial sovereignty
A new presidential decree published in the gazette contained 12 articles aimed at protecting the population’s socio-economic rights and outlining actions to defend territorial sovereignty.
The new legal instrument, to last for 60 renewable days, extends the emergency decree which was signed on Jan. 14 and renewed on March 14 for another 60 days.
The new decree gives the Venezuelan government new security powers to act against possible “destabilizing actions that intend to interrupt the country’s internal life” or its international relations.
Maduro described the new instrument as including measures to defend the country against new “foreign threats.”
Applying special measures to impede foreign interference
The president was referring to statements made by Colombia’s former president Alvaro Uribe Velez who called from Miami, the United States, to “institutionally challenge” Venezuela’s army, the Bolivarian National Armed Forces.
The new decree authorizes Venezuela’s government to apply “special measures in foreign policy that impedes foreign interference.”
The decree also allows the government to take action to rectify the shortages of goods and services in the country.
Measures that solicit international aid
The decree also includes measures that solicit international aid to help restore ecosystems affected by serious droughts or the “El Nino” weather phenomenon as well as the country’s electricity service, which has been affected by low water levels.
The army, police and local committees are all authorized to help with the distribution of goods, medicines, foods and other urgent necessities.
The new decree will be submitted to the opposition-dominated National Assembly for approval within eight days.
Plunging oil prices
Venezuela announced a 60-day state of economic emergency early this year amid plunging oil prices, soaring inflation and a severe shortage of goods, and the measure was extended for 60 more days in March as the economic crisis facing the country showed no sign of improvement.
Venezuela’s national economy, heavily depends on oil revenues, shrank 7 percent in 2015 as a result of plunging oil prices, and the annual inflation rate was at around 140 percent.