Venezuela extends emergency decree again

Updated: 2016-05-17 15:52


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Venezuela extends emergency decree again

A cashier counts bolivar notes at a butchery in a public market in Caracas, Venezuela January 22, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

CARACAS -- The Venezuelan government released a gazette on Monday to implement fresh extension of the State of Economic Emergency Decree, which was announced by President Nicolas Maduro on Friday, with some new authorizations to tackle domestic and foreign forces' attempt to overthrow the government.

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 for the first time on Jan. 14 and renewed on March 14 for another 60 days.

The new decree gives the Venezuelan government new authorizations to execute special security plans 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."

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."

Also the decree establishes the "urgent" acquisition of items through national and international negotiations as a bid to satisfy local demand for goods and services given the increased amount of shortages.

The decree also includes measures that solicit international aid to help restore the ecosystems affected by serious droughts or the "El Nino" weather phenomenon as well as rectify the faults in the country's electricity service affected by low water levels.

The army, police and local committees for supply and production are all authorized to help with the distribution of goods, medicines, foods and other urgent products, thanks to the decree.

The new decree will be submitted to the opposition-dominated National Assembly for approval within eight days.

Venezuela announced a 60-day state of economic emergency early this year amid plunging oil prices, soaring inflation and a severe shortage of products, and the measure was extended for 60 more days in March as the economic crisis facing the country showed no sign of improvement.