Venezuela’s last government that ruled the oil-rich oil-producing country of 30 million people has abandoned its plan to pursue an oil boom and instead seeks to transition to a market economy and reduce dependence on foreign oil.
The change in policy came as the country’s President Nicolas Maduro said he will call a special session of parliament next week to vote on whether to declare a “state of emergency” that would allow for the closure of businesses and the imposition of severe economic restrictions.
In a statement Sunday, Maduro said the emergency will last until December to allow Venezuelans to “secure their rights and freedoms.”
The government also said it would not negotiate with international companies to open new oil fields and expand existing ones, saying they would be forced to find other sources of oil.
Maduro has called for the removal of Maduro’s longtime rival, former President Hugo Chavez, who died in March.
Chavez led Venezuela’s oil-dependent economy for two decades.
The announcement of the state of emergency comes just days after Venezuela’s Supreme Court said it will issue orders for the imposition on businesses, which include the transportation of goods and people.
That could include restrictions on imports of goods.
Maduro said Sunday he would call a “national assembly” for a second special session next week.
Maduro and the opposition are seeking to extend the term of the interim government, which was elected in December following weeks of street protests that turned violent and ultimately led to the impeachment of Maduro.
The opposition has called on Maduro to step down after he failed to meet with the opposition-led congress, which is controlled by the ruling Socialist Party.
In the interim, the government has shut down more than 2,300 businesses and shut down some of its most important infrastructure, including the countrys biggest gas plant.
The Supreme Court ordered Maduro to end his rule after a two-week court-supervised session that ended with the impeachment vote.
The court is set to rule on whether Maduro can continue to rule and what sanctions are needed.
The government has warned that any attempt to end the emergency would lead to violence, and that people should avoid the streets.
The countrys second-largest airline, AirTran, said on Sunday that it had suspended all flights to the U.S. and will fly to other destinations in the region.