While Venezuela’s collapse to a socialist singularity best defined by total economic devastation has been chronicled extensively here over the years…

… to the point where neither the country’s hyperinflation, nor the total collapse of its currency

… nor its return to a barter economy, nor even the fact that it has run out of condoms, fake breasts, or beer engender much of a reaction, perhaps the only thing readers seem attuned to is when will the social implosion lead to renewed political tensions which will likely result in another violent political overthrow, one which may or may not involve the local military.

Today Venezuela took a step in that direction when its president Maduro declared a state of emergency in a border region near Colombia following an attack by smugglers in which three soldiers and a civilian were injured, resulting in 60 days of martial law in five municipalities of the state of Tachira. He also said the closure of the border, announced on Thursday, will be extended until further notice.

Petrol and food smugglers have increasingly clashed with officers. According to the BBC, Maduro said Colombian paramilitary groups regularly travel to Venezuela, generating chaos and shortages in order to destabilise the revolution.

Many are openly speculating that the official explanation is bogus, and Maduro merely wants a pretext to deploy the army first to one state in which social tensions have led to violence and death as a test, then everywhere else where anti-government sentiment…

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