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article imageOp-Ed: As Venezuela begins to melt down, Maduro blames U.S. for problems

By Karen Graham     May 14, 2016 in World
Caracas - It is evident that Venezuela's President Nicholas Maduro is going to do anything, including locking the country down, to avoid a recall referendum that would kick him out of office.
On Friday, Maduro declared a 60-day state of emergency because of alleged plots within the country and in the U.S. to topple his leftist government.
Although U.S. intelligence officials don't know the details of the declaration, previous emergency declarations implemented in states near the Colombian border resulted in suspended constitutional rights and guarantees, with the exception of human rights, according to Reuters.
The world is well aware of the economic and domestic crises the country is embroiled in, with an energy crisis forcing Maduro to limit public workers to only two workdays a week, and school days to four days a week. Then, there are the four-hour power blackouts. We haven't even touched on the lack of medicines, food and other necessities of life that just aren't available to the people.
But it seems that Maduro didn't get much sympathy with blaming El Nino for the drought and resulting water crisis that led to the energy crisis. The notion that he had anything to do with any of the problems his country is facing is just not something he wants to admit. So now, he is blaming the United States.
After millions voted on a referendum ballot to get Maduro out of office earlier this year, the 53-year-old Maduro vehemently refused to be thrown out of office, saying again on Friday that he would complete his term. But protests and looting have grown and U.S. officials are fearful they will disintegrate into outright violence.
Angry looters are grabbing anything they can get their hands on, including flour, chicken, and even underwear, as the crowds become bigger and more agitated. On Wednesday this week, protesters were tear-gassed after throwing rocks at government troops as they marched to demand the electoral board allow a recall referendum against Maduro, reports CNBC News.
On Friday at a news briefing, U.S. officials talked to a small group of reporters, saying that any U.S. involvement in Venezuela's troubles would be cause for accusations of meddling in the leftist government. "You can hear the ice cracking. You know there's a crisis coming," one U.S. official said. "Our pressure on this isn't going to resolve this issue."
Maduro wasted no time in firing back on Friday night that the meeting was held "to conspire against Venezuela." He added, "Washington is activating measures at the request of Venezuela's fascist right, who are emboldened by the coup in Brazil." He was referring to the impeachment proceedings of his good friend and leftist, Dilma Rousseff in Brazil.
It all comes down to Maduro being a joke in many people's eyes, including yours truly. It is obvious that he is trying his darnedest to keep the Venezuelan people from voting him out of office, and things are only going to deteriorate further in the country. Maduro's ineptitude has caused the problems he is facing today and the only recourse is for him to step down.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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