Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro declares a 60-day state of emergency citing what he calls plots from within the OPEC country and the U.S. to topple his leftist government. Rough Cut - Subtitled (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - SUBTITLED (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared a 60-day state of emergency on Friday (May 13) due to what he called plots from within the OPEC country and the United States to topple his leftist government. Maduro did not provide details of the measure. A previous state of emergency, implemented in states near the Colombian border last year, suspended constitutional guarantees in those areas, except for guarantees relating to human rights. "I decree, today, Friday the 13th of May a state of economic emergency in order to protect our country. Here is the decree signed and approved for the protection of our country," Maduro said. Earlier on Friday, U.S. intelligence officials told reporters they were increasingly worried about the potential for an economic and political meltdown in Venezuela and predicted Maduro was not likely to complete his term. Venezuela's opposition is seeking to recall the unpopular leader, 53, amid a worsening crisis that includes food and medicine shortages, frequent power cuts, sporadic looting and galloping inflation. But the former union leader and bus driver has vowed to stick out his term, and accuses the United States of fomenting an undercover coup against him. He pointed to this week's impeachment of fellow leftist Dilma Rousseff in Brazil as a sign that he is next. "Once this is published in the next few minutes, this new decree will go into effect and I maintain the constitutional power to defend the country against the threats of an economic war," he added. Washington has had an acrimonious relationship with Caracas for years, especially following U.S. support for a short-lived 2002 coup against late leader Hugo Chavez. Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party has long been a strong ally of Rousseff's Workers Party, however, and her departure adds to Maduro's isolation in Latin America. Flanked by his ministers and a statue of Chavez, Maduro signed a state of emergency and extend a state of economic emergency to protect the country from foreign and domestic "threats," without providing details.