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News > Latin America

Venezuela Extends State of Economic Emergency

  • Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Published 16 May 2017

The measures undertaken aim to restore economic security for the Venezuelan people.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro extended a nationwide state of economic emergency for 60 additional days Saturday in order to guarantee the population access to basic services.

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Published in the official journal number 6.298, the text explained that the measure means to “defend and guarantee citizens a dignified life, to protect them against threats, to maintain the constitutional order, to restore the social peace that guarantees an opportune access to basic goods and services, so they can enjoy their rights in an environment of peace and stability.”

Article 236 of the Bolivarian Constitution allows Venezuela's head of state to prolong a 60-day state of emergency, allowing the government to implement exceptional measures in the realm of economic production and food distribution. This is the seventh time Maduro does so.

The state of economic emergency was implemented in the first place when the Bolivarian government declared that an economic war was being waged against the Venezuelan people. The drastic and serious measures aim to restore economic security, to contain the high levels of inflation in the country amid low levels of oil prices and what Maduro said is an economic boycott by companies.

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The emergency measures have three main objectives: to boost domestic production; to strengthen the new system of food distribution direct to people's homes, and to strengthen the social programs or missions.

The “economic emergency” involves taking resources from the previous financial year available, assigning extra funds to health, education, food, and housing; designing and implementing measures to prevent tax evasion; and giving the executive the “authorization to address the causes of the current situation.”

“One of our biggest challenges must be to generate new sources of national wealth,” Maduro stated when the decree was originally passed in January 2016.

In order to decrease the country’s dependency on oil revenue, the Venezuelan leader proposed the transformation of the country’s industrial and agricultural enterprises.

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