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Venezuela - the ice cracking


On the boat
U.S. intelligence warns of Venezuela collapse
With dire shortages of basic goods, a looming foreign debt payment, horrific street crime and intransigent political divisions, Venezuela is in danger of collapsing into waves of deadly violence, U.S. intelligence officials warned Friday.

Venezuela, which controls the world's largest reserves of crude oil, is in the throes of a potentially explosive political stalemate after opposition parties gained a majority in the national congress in elections late last year.

"The goal now is to mitigate the crisis that is unfolding," a senior U.S. intelligence official said Friday, briefing a small group of reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss internal assessments. "You can hear the ice cracking."

Venezuela's heavily armed population staggers under the world's highest inflation rate. Maduro may also be worried about potential threats within his own inner circle and in the military, as the country deteriorates.

There has been widespread concern in the international finance world that Venezuela would fail to pay $6.85 billion in debt service over the last half of the year, sending the country of 30 million people into default.

see also http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/16/world/americas/dying-infants-and-no-medicine-inside-venezuelas-failing-hospitals.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

(Time for a Pérez Jiménez Marcos Pérez Jiménez - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia to return - he with the Marita Lorenz connection. With all the US "activities" during Chaves time this is the chicken coming home. As Fort McMurray has gone up in flames is it time for some cheap oil from Caracas?)
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On the boat
Venezuelan government seizes control of factories as country risks economic 'explosion'
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has threatened to seize factories that have ceased production and arrest their owners after extending emergency powers amid the country’s massive economic crisis.

Mr Maduro made his remarks Saturday, ordering “all actions to recover the production apparatus, which is being paralysed by the bourgeoisie.” He added that factory owners “sabotage the country” by halting production at their plants.

The Associated Press reports that Empresas Polar, the country’s largest food and drink distributor, closed its last beer plant, claiming that the company lacked the capital to purchase the raw materials necessary to continue production.

But Mr Madero sees the actions of Empresas Polar as a deliberate attempt to destabilise the economy.

Mr Maduro’s Friday emergency declaration extends his powers for 60 days. While US officials speculate that he will not finish his term, which ends in 2019.

(Good documentary about the 2002 attempted coup detat i Veneezuela )