May 14, 2016: breaking news last night was the 60-day state of emergency declared by the Venezuelan president. This morning, front page of The WSJ: US sees growing risk of coup in Venezuela.
Now we know why the president declared the 60-day state of emergency. It was the one thing I failed to mention below. Oh well. No one is correct 100% of the time. Even Rush admits to being correct only 99.7% of the time (and "right" 100% of the time -- badda-bing).
Venezuela is descending into a deepening crisis that could end in violence, including the possibility of a coup against that country’s embattled leftist government, senior U.S. intelligence officials said Friday.
There is a “potential for real violence,” one of two officials said in a briefing with a small group of reporters. “It’s hard for me to see how this ends easily.”
The officials, who have extensive experience in the region, said that they and others in the intelligence community increasingly believe that President Nicolás Maduro could be removed from office, either in a “palace coup” led by associates close to him or in a military uprising. They said that the possibility of an overthrow or street violence is of concern to American officials, who want to avoid anarchy in an oil-rich country just a three-hour flight from Miami.
“The goal is to mitigate the crisis that they’re experiencing,” said the official. “It’s in the United States’ interest that Venezuela not bottom out.”
He said, however, that Washington’s options are limited because of Mr. Maduro’s antipathy toward the U.S., which he frequently blames for orchestrating “an economic war” designed to destabilize his government.
I assume the president declared a state of emergency to allow the military carte blanche to put down anti-government demonstrations, protests, and other acts of civil disobedience. From what I can tell, not much else can be done. Nationalizing anything that isn't already nationalized might be part of the plan but it won't solve any problems. It also permits the government to make sure that essential government personnel (military personnel, police forces) remain on the job.