Venezuela

Venezuela: President Maduro granted power to govern by decree

Maduro supporters celebrating the "anti-imperialist" law. Photo by AP

Maduro supporters celebrating the “anti-imperialist” law. Photo by AP

The Venezuelan parliament approved the proposed law on Sunday giving President Nicolás Maduro the power to legislate by decree for the rest of the year. The President requested the exception after the U.S. issued new sanctions against Venezuelan officials.

The measure is called the “anti-imperialist” law and will  be valid from the time it is published in the Venezuelan Official Gazette until December 31, 2015. Maduro’s Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela is in the majority in the nation’s parliament. Critics claim that this is a tactic that is meant to disturb the parliamentary elections that are due later this year and to divert attention from the economical crisis the country is facing.

After the President had received the decree thousands of Venezuelans joined him and his party on an “anti-imperialist demonstration”. Maduro declared that he was happy that they had won the people’s support and the support from neighbors.

After yet another UNASUR meeting in Quito, Ecuador, Saturday (March, 14th)  the foreign ministers of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay and Venezuela unanimously denounced US sanctions and military intervention. However, underlining that they look forward to accompanying the parliamentary elections scheduled for December. Cuba’s government has added that the sanctions are “arbitrary and aggressive.”

– They may have the power of the dollar, the power of the media and a murderous military force, but we have something they don’t have: the power of integrity,” said President Maduro.”This legislation gives me the power to defend peace and sovereignty.”

The seventh Summit of the Americas will be held next month in Panama. Maduro and Obama will meeting face to face. The U.S. was most certainly hoping for this event to be an opening to speak of the changes in the relationship to Cuba and consequently the possibilities of restoring economic growth across the region. But with the increasing provocations between the U.S and Venezuela in combination with the support the South American nation is getting from its neighbors, the expectations on the Summit are changing dramatically.

Fear of Venezuela or the US?

 

Women protesting on the International Women's day in Caracas against the use of military weapon against protesters and for the resignation of President Maduro. Photo by AFP

Women protesting on the International Women’s day in Caracas against the use of military weapon against protesters and for the resignation of President Maduro. Photo by AFP

The string of a relation between Venezuela and the US is about to burst. It is a consequence of the increasingly strained economy and discontent from the population towards the Venezuelan government. Politicians of the opposition are being imprisoned and censoring of the media is increasing. As if that was not enough provoking the government has close ties to some of the US most despised enemies, other Communist states.

Venezuela and the US have both imposed sanctions against each other. They blamed each other for the economic and social problems in the Latin country. The US is now accusing Venezuela of being a threat to their national security. On the other hand Venezuela is to seek decree powers from the National Assembly to defend the country against imperialism.

The underlying reason for the increased tension between the countries is the plummeting oil price. Since oil is Venezuela’s largest industry the cut backs have been made to the extent that people are fed up. Maduro’s response to the latest US sanctions is to incriminate the Yankees of planning an invasion. The accusation might provoke unity of the Venezuelan people against the neighbor in the North or on the contrary fraction it even more.

By cartoonist Latuff.

By cartoonist Latuff.

The Union of South American Nations (USAN) condemn the US sanctions against Venezuela, insisting that the Venezuelan’s should take care of their own affairs. For over a year people have been taking to the streets, building up. The discontent is more wide spread than ever and only 20 percent of the Venezuelan’s confide in their President Nicolas Maduro, Chávez political son.

 

Nicolas Maduro

Only 1 out of 5 Venezuelans support President Nicolas Maduro. Photo: AP

It is being questioned if Maduro is trying to cause disturbance to provoke the postponing of the parliamentary elections that are to take place in Venezuela by the end of the year. The USAN has agreed to surveying the primary and general elections.

Even emptier stores, more power shortages and increasing violence against protesters intensify the sense that collapse is looming near. If the build up of the Venezuelan and US conflict continues at this speed it is only a matter of time before the other states of Latin America start positioning either as afraid of Venezuela or of a US invasion on a neighboring country.

 

Building up for the summer

This is a time of build up for the summer. The fruits I have planted are slowly ripening and I am on a roll preparing. Summer is the most opportune period to try on working in new places and I hunger for new challenges.

Work took me to Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden, and according to many the most sociable one. People are friendly in the streets and you always meet new acquaintances. That is not the norm in Sweden since most Swedes are shy. One could claim that Gothenburg is where you get the friendly Swedes a bit faster and in more unpredictable ways.

Swedish Television’s Gothenburg office is by far the best working place I have been in. The job has been fantastic, I have given of my knowledge and learned a lot. I planned and carried out a trip with stops in four different countries. Solving the unexpected situations was by far the best, it always is.

I have gotten two scholarships from The Swedish Union of Journalists. One is to study Business Journalism at Sweden’s oldest Journalism school, Poppius. The other is to attend the annual seminar of The Swedish Association of Investigative Journalism. To top it off, after so much build up, I am studying a distance course on Foreign Affairs and Globalization.

There’s a time to ponder new impressions and there’s a time to start getting back in the heat. The world is calling.

 

Have you got any interesting news or investigative tips? Send me a mail at ceciliajournalist (at) gmail.com

Walking towards Stockholm's Central Station after my first day of class at Poppius. Spring in Stockholm.

Walking towards Stockholm’s Central Station after my first class at Poppius. Spring in Stockholm.