On Friday, the Venezuelan president introduced for the entire country a state of emergency, and today in a speech during a manifestation, he stated that factories that stopped production would receive a seizure and their owners would be imprisoned.
According to president Maduro, these measures are needed to fight an economic war introduced by foreign forces that are causing the problems in the nation. To work against these “foreign threats” president Maduro is even considering military exercises, as he said in the speech.
Saturday was an active day for protests in the capital city, Caracas. Opposition supporters got together in order to push a recall vote to eject Mr. Maduro from power and to protest against radical shortages of products and services. For hours, protesters shouted slogans against government policies and held placards to denunciate the mechanisms used by the government in economic issues.
On the other side, a different rally expressed their support towards the government. Supporters of president Maduro got together in order to manifest against opposition and in favor of the measures taken against the “economic war.”
The economic crisis
Venezuela’s economy was severely affected by the global fall in oil prices, and measures taken internally have not worked against the severe economic crisis in which the country is sunk. Inflation, shortages, water and energy rationing and queues to purchase food and medicines are a common feature in Venezuelan’s life. For almost three years the country has suffered a deep economic crisis that is just getting worse with time.
Seizures on factories are part of the government’ policies in economic matters. According to president Maduro, the bourgeoisie is the sector to blame on the productivity crisis, while enterprises and companies blame the government for mismanagement and suffocating policies for the import and export process, as well as corruption in the foreign exchange system, that is controlled by the government.
“We’re going to tell imperialism and the international right that the people are present, with their farm instruments in one hand and a gun in the other… to defend this sacred land. We must take all measures to recover productive capacity, which is being paralysed by the bourgeoisie,” the president stated during the rally of government supporters that measures are going to be taken.
Factories can be seized in order to be managed by government entities to “make them more productive.” The original owners and managers of seized factories may go to prison if authorities consider they are sabotaging the economic stability i