Maduro Declares State of Emergency In Parts of Tachira State

August 23, 2015


I can only worry about the decision by Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro to declare a State of Emergency in five municipalities of Tachira State, a state that borders with Colombia.

To begin with, the action that originated it, the non-deadly shooting of some military personnel carrying out an anti-smuggling operation in that State, is certainly not the most serious incident either near the border, nor in Venezuela, to justify decreeing a State of Emergency.

But the extent of the terms of the State of Emergency, seems a little exaggerated and certainly prone to abuse. While we do not know the terms of the decree, which has yet to be published, according to the Governor of Aragua State (Why him?) who made the announcement in the name of the Government, Articles 47, 48, 50, 53, 68 and 112 of the Constitution have been suspended in those municipalities. So that you don’t have to go read the Constitution if you don’t want to, these articles deal with:

-Neither home nor your private communications can be intervened without a judicial order to do so.

-You can move freely and with your property around the country and leave the country as you wish.

-You can gather publicly and privately for legal purposes.

-You have the right to protest peacefully.

-You have the freedom to devote yourself to the private economic activity of your choice.

Now, while Governor El Aissami said that Human Rights would be preserved, suspending all of these article of the Constitution constitutes a violation of democratic principles and it is hard to imagine how these articles can be suspended and any action taken without the violation of Human Rights. If your home is invaded, if your communications are violated, if you can not gather with others or protest and if you are not allowed to carry out your daily business, your human rights are being abused and violated. No democracy can afford to suspend all or any of these rights guaranteed by the Venezuelan Constitution.

But even more importantly, how is it that an incident like the one that caused this leads the Government to suspend all of these guarantees, but, for example, the death of 30-40 people, including cops in clashes in Caracas’ Cota 905 do not require the same reaction?

The answer is simple: Maduro could care less about the incident, he was just looking for an excuse to create an incident with Colombia, given that the clash with Guyana did little or nothing to increase his popularity. In fact, Maduro made some very incendiary statements about the Colombians that are coming to Venezuela, at a time that such a flow is minimal, given that economic conditions on this side of the border are so unattractive. In fact, as I described in my previous post, the reverse is true, for the first time in a long time, the flow is in the opposite direction, as Colombians with Venezuelan papers are flooding the border area as they flee scarcity and hyperinflation.

And as you an see in the following video, even if the border is closed, it is not closed for expelling Colombians that live in Venezuela (Nobody knows if legally or not, nobody asked), as they were not only bused out of the country, but badly treated:

In the video you can even see kids being expelled without due process and one of the guys, who lives in Venezuela states they were treated like dogs and denied food for two days. And there are reports of the National Guard searching homes in these counties, painting a very fascist R in red or blue on each house to signify that the house has been checked (Registrada) (More here)

And the worry is why Maduro has decided to create this artificial crisis at this time. It is obvious that he is doing it for electoral purposes, Chávez did it in his time. But how far is he willing to take the conflict with his former new best friend Santos?

And even more worrisome, if Maduro is willing to do this 100 days before the parliamentary election, does he have a plan to extend this State of emergency as he wishes in order to gain popularity or limit the ability of the opposition to mobilize?

The Government’s popularity is down, they can probably limit the number of Deputies of the opposition to a simple majority, but with inflation accelerating, Maduro may be ready to step over the line if his popularity falls further. Chávez used to say that it was only in the Fourth Republic that rights were suspended, but here is his anointed successor doing precisely that, a clear sign that all bets are off going forward.

Meanwhile the opposition is incredibly quiet, as if Tachira was a far away place, rather than an opposition stronghold. Why aren’t opposition leaders present in Tachira provoking the Government or helping to protect Venezuelans and Colombians and Colombian/Venezuelans whose rights are being abused? Is the MUD going to limit itself to issuing bland statements that no media broadcasts? Is anybody going to question what it is that provoked the State of Emergency which state media justifies rather easily as paramilitary attacks on Venezuela’s Armed Forces?

I have no answers for the MUD’s passivity. This is a golden opportunity to show the country and the world the fascism and abuses of the Maduro Government. If nothing is done to slow down the Government in its attempt to escalate the conflict with Colombia, the Maduro administration may create a conflict that would give it an excuse to postpone the election if they deem it necessary.

And as usual its equally undemocratic friends around Latin America will blame the opposition and/or Colombia for it.

41 Responses to “Maduro Declares State of Emergency In Parts of Tachira State”

  1. Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

    They’ve had issues with the Arepa Turca too..

    I suggest other web hosting services.. plenty on Google

  2. M Rubio Says:

    In the Empire of Tyranny, the truth is treason.

  3. moctavio Says:

    Currently I am not allowed to post in my blog because WordPress, the host, has some “concern” about my content. I have no idea what this means, if someone complained or what. It could have been the Government after my arepa index or who knows. Will keep you posted.

  4. Ira Says:

    A peripheral question:

    Government announces it will begin to print 500-B notes, and possibly 1,000.

    For curiosity, is this necessary at all?

    I remember that for a time, Brazil went back and forth with the name of their currency, involving printing new bills. (Cruzeiro, Crusado, I think.) Did this renaming process involve an official devaluation? Because later on, they decided to just drop some zeroes from working prices, without creating new bills. Easier than printing new money.

    So in VZ, what’s the deal?

    As you probably know, I know nothing about economics, but I’m curious about the machinations of this.

    Is it ego or fiscal policy which prevents the government from simply declaring, “Drop the zeroes.”

    • M Rubio Says:

      Printing 500 and 1000 bs notes is desperately necessary. Let me give an example.

      About 18 months ago one could buy a processed chicken of about 2 kilos for under 100 bs. I know because I sold processed chickens and remember doing everything possible for as long as possible to avoid hitting that number as I knew my clients would complain. And they did.

      Today that same bird costs almost 1000 bs. Relatively minor transactions now take a suitcase full of money to complete and the largest bills, 100 bs, are often in short supply. Go to the market and try to complete a transaction for 3000 or 4000 bs and see how long the wait is while the guy counts that amount in 10’s and 20’s.

      Also, since many people are fed up with the banking system, they ask for payment in cash. Try waking out of a bank with 30 or 40,000 bs and not get noticed. Again, have a suitcase handy.

      Larger bills are LONG OVERDUE.

      • Ira Says:

        But Brazil had this same problem and simply dropped the zeroes…

        I think.

        I also remember that because of inflation (I was there in 1987), the taxis had paper charts on the windows to convert what the meter said to the actual cost of the ride, because it was impossible to recalibrate the meters on a daily basis to keep up.

        I ALSO remember…and this was a wonderful memory…that my friend and I bought the biggest and best bag of weed that we had ever seen for 10 bucks. A guy named Charlie from Peru sold it to us, and we hung out with him all week.

        Sigh–those were the days.

  5. Juan Largo Says:

    Rubio wrote: For the average Venezuelan here, discussing the state of affairs today is like an American discussing the weather. They all complain about it but do absolutely nothing to change it.

    I have often wondered why or even how that is possible. Change can only happen when a united front organizes itself in a comprehensive way. As is, MUD is a kind of default option, better than Socialismo, but hardly visionary. Hope Lopez gets out of jail soon. Wonder how he is hoding up? Haven’t heard anyrthing from him lately.


  6. M Rubio Says:

    For the average Venezuelan here, discussing the state of affairs today is like an American discussing the weather. They all complain about it but do absolutely nothing to change it.

  7. […] At the blogs: Maduro Declares State of Emergency In Parts of Tachira State […]

  8. nacazo Says:

    In order to implement Cuban solutions, the powers that be need to make an island out of Venezuela. Good luck with that porous border.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to build a Tachira-Guajira wall. Were it not for the many rivers…. But everything is possible from the socialist geniuses in power.

  9. Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

    What will be interesting is to see what will Millions of Bachaqueros do if the Kleptozuelan Regime really cracks down on them.

    It’s the only means of survival for many: either you are Enchufado with the Dictatorship (about 5 Million) or you must be bachaqueando or doing some illegal activity (minimum salary is worth 1 small chicken and 2 diapers).

    That entire Bachaquero Industry needs representation, Unions and the ONU must step up. Take that huge source of income away, (no more early colas..) and we will see. It’s an important part of the income of the Guardia Nazional and “police”, btw.. seriiously.

  10. Juan Largo Says:

    The B is virtually worthless, meaning that no matter how much paper they “pay” the military, they still are getting little to nothing. This is not sustainable for Maduro. Now factions of the military are working the gas smuggling racket like crazy while other factions are caught in limbo – with no money. Likely this is just starting to get ugly because one thing has always remained the same in strong arm regimes – the military must be paid.

    Word from the refineries and docks is that less and less gasoline is being shipped off on freighters and more is being held back for smuggling, so the cash goes to the uniforms rather then into national coffers (where it is bled off accordingly). The Mad Max analogy is starting to become eerily real.

    The frightening part is that while smuggling might hold over a small percentage of the military, and all the citizen minions also surviving on the trade, the government is generating a reduced wad of hard currency, made worse by plummeting oil prices – today, US oil ended at $38.24 a barrel. Lowest since February 2009. That means the nation’s ability to purchase desperately needed medicines, foodstuffs, etc. is less than it was a month ago. The actual needs of 30 million people can only be neglected for so long before a humanitarian crisis, most likely in the health care sector, throws the country into a full blown melt down.

    I just don’t see this playing out till Dec.


  11. Ira Says:

    I understand some opinions here chastising the opposition for not being more vocal and anti-Chavista about this, but come on. What’s really to be gained by being so?

    They’re gonna come out against Maduro’s attempts against illegal smuggling? Doesn’t seem like a position worth fighting for. More important:

    The opposition already has a massive lead as we head towards Dec. 6th anyway–an insurmountable lead–so why not let these inane government actions implode on the government all by themselves? They really don’t need any opposition involvement to help the opposition.

    In fact, I find the opposition’s laisee faire attitude toward this to be brilliant politics!

    • Dr. Faustus Says:

      There is indeed some logic to your point. As Napoleon Bonaparte once noted, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” Just stand there and offer more rope….

  12. Paul Says:

    Desperation from those in power will only increase and make things much harder on the lives of all Venezuelans. Hyperinflation, shortages of daily living essentials, medical care, B’s not worth the paper printed on, etc. Time to say bye bye if you can. Tachira might be the powder keg. And yes, where the hell is the opposition?????? Is there really an opposition force????

    • Morpheous Says:

      And, If there is an opposition (I applaud those who continue opposing one way or the other) that would try to take advantage of the situation, is there any media that would broadcast them? And, if there was such a media from what it is left from the media, what percentage of the territory or population would they cover? — It is not easy being opposition these days in Venezuela, don you think?

  13. Alej Says:

    An independent Táchira is in the works.

  14. Roger Says:

    I recall Chavez giving Colombians CID’s, thus making them citizens, so they could vote for him? How can you expelle a citizen?I suppose those being expelled are now opposition? 5 Million is a big voting block!

    • Erik Says:

      Something like 15% to 20% of the population. I understand they have generally supported Chavismo. Although many will continue to do so out of fear, I am sure that these actions will have some impact on the voting bloc.

  15. RobertoN Says:

    Assaimi read it because:” El gobernador del estado Aragua, Tareck El Aissami, como miembro del Puesto de Comando Presidencial, leyó el Decreto 1.950, contentivo de 18 artículos, mediante el cual el presidente Nicolás Maduro suspendió en los municipios Bolívar, Ureña, Junín, Independencia y Libertad del estado Táchira, las garantías previstas en los artículos 47, 48, 50, 53, 68 y 112 de la Constitución. “

    • moctavio Says:

      yes, but that makes little sense. It should be the job of the Minsiter of the Inetrior or the Procurador.

    • RobertoN Says:

      You’re right, it does make little sense to us.

      To them perhaps it is very logical, but then we know that they view the world very differently from normal people.

      My guess they are trying to show that the whole “apparatus” of government is engaged in this “serious” problem they made up out of nothing.

  16. Dr. Faustus Says:

    The cross border trade between Tachira State and Colombia is a three-headed monster created by the Chavista’s. Many people’s lives are dependent on that trade continuing. Survival. Employment of sorts. Today there isn’t a cage big enough to hold the monster they’ve created. This could get exceedingly ugly real fast.

  17. Tony Tan Keng Yam Says:

    Expect another bogus incident, some tiroteo, or popular altercation, a few people dead, that’s all they need to escalate it a bit more for a nationwide state of exception.

    Uribe arriving there today, the circus has just begun.

  18. Ira Says:

    Doesn’t make much sense from any standpoint I can see:

    It will do nothing to alleviate shortages, the declining value of the B, and if merely a propaganda one, it’s pretty weak.

    And I can’t believe that this step could be considered a first step to postponing elections, but you never know.

  19. MO, my experience in Cuba under the Castro regime taught me that when things get bad they will probably get worse. I know this is a depressing thought, but I got the feeling Venezuelans are starting to understand why I warned them to get out or plan on having to struggle to stay alive in ways they never imagined.

    Venezuela is starting to become like a copy of the Cuban disaster, and you get to see the total indifference of Latin American and other nations.

    But I sure hope that in 50 years you don’t have to watch a U.S. President smiling and crooning at Maduro’s heir as corporate interests and the international left applaud such a wonderful scene.

    • Boca Condo King Says:

      Last year I worked in an executive office complex that had many recent Venezuelan arrivals. A colleague of mine stopped by one day and while getting coffee down the hallway we chatted with a group of the Venezuelans. My colleague was born in Cuba, and came here with his parents as a youngster in the sixties. Still has relatives in Cuba, sends them money etc.. A common story here in South Florida.

      Anyway, we are getting coffee and my colleague says to the Venezuelan’s something to the effect of “welcome to the party, now you know what we went through”. That was met with a stony silence, Fernando I fear you have correctly predicted the future.

      So how long until those who got out of Vz, are called gusanos? How long until university professors discount your memories/experiences by stating that only the corrupt right wingers left Vz?

      History is rhyming with a vengeance

    • moctavio Says:

      I know things will get worse, its a constant theme in my posts.

      • Does the indifference bother you? I ran away at 14, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time taking garbage from leftists because I’m opposed to Castro’s dictatorship and communism. On the other hand I also ran into simpleton racists. It’s the life we have to accept after we end up like this.

    • Dean A Nash Says:

      Sadly, I’m on the same page, as I wrote on Aug 11th (among numerous comments over the years.)

      “So here’s my dime’s worth (inflation is rampant): No elections, no longer any need (or resources) to pretend. It’s super easy for the government to create CHAOS and ride in to the rescue. They kill a few hundred, even if they’re their own, who would know? Just dead bodies…no free media to report the truth. From there, Chavez will have achieved his dream, from the grave no less: Venezuela will be like Cuba. No freedoms, minimal rations, no hope. Regrettably, this day is coming much faster than anyone wants to admit.”

      Born in 1960, I grew up in Miami – I have a lifetime of Cuban friends. To my Venezuelan friends who can still read this, THIS ISN’T THE END, it’s the beginning. RUN FOR YOUR LIVES. LEAVE EVERYTHING if you must, but flee now.

    • Erik Says:

      Fortunately for Venezuela, the USSR no longer exists to facilitate a transition to a fully authoritarian state and the border with Colombia (and Brazil) is too porous to control in a meaningful way.

  20. @AlexGuerreroE: @AlexGuerreroE You’ve been quoted in my #Storify story “Contrabando alimentos y gasolina, corrupcion y crimen”

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