Amid deepening energy and economic crisis, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared a 60-day emergency in the South American nation on Friday. He accused the U.S. and internal sources of attempting to topple the leftist government after Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was suspended after a vote in favour of an impeachment motion against her.
Venezuela, an OPEC country, recently adopted a two-day work week for the public sector after the energy crisis in the country deepened. The country has been facing drought because of the El nino effect, and the president had said that the situation would improve once it rains. Venezuela depends on hydroelectric dams for the quantum of its energy needs. The country also began facing large law and order issues after shortages in medicine and food increased.
"Washington is activating measures at the request of Venezuela's fascist right, who are emboldened by the coup in Brazil," Maduro said during a Friday night broadcast on state television, according to Reuters.
The U.S. on the other hand, predicted that Maduro may not stay till the end of his term, while raising concerns that the country could slip into a political and economic meltdown.
"You can hear the ice cracking," a U.S. intelligence official was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald. "You know there's a crisis coming."
The relationship between the North American and South American country has been fractious since the U.S. backed a coup against former president Hugo Chavez.
The Opposition in Venezuela dismissed Maduro's claims.
"Today Maduro has again violated the constitution," opposition lawmaker Tomas Guanipa was quoted as saying by Reuters. "Why? Because he is scared of being recalled."