Venezuela extends state of emergency for third time

CARACAS, Venezuela, July 15 (UPI) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro extended the nationwide state of economic emergency for a third time this week.

The government decree, issued on Thursday, declared that the state of emergency will once again be extended for an additional 60 days after a similar extension in May.

Maduro’s government said the state of emergency has been repeatedly extended “given the extraordinary circumstances of social, economic, political, natural and ecological order that seriously affect the national economy.”

El Periodico reports that Venezuela’s National Assembly rejected the extension, but that it was ultimately upheld by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice.

The state of emergency allows Maduro to distribute goods, restrict the monetary system, and pass new legislation, all without the involvement of the National Assembly, which has been controlled by the opposition party MUD since 2015.

On Tuesday, Maduro ordered the military to take control of five ports as part of “war strategies” to provide food and medicine amid the country’s economic crisis and named Maj. Gen. Efraín Velasco Lugo as the new head of Venezuela’s ports agency.

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