Military handed control of food production and distribution

President Maduro hands control of the country's food production and distribution networks to Defense Minister General Vladimir Padrino, with the mission to boost production and oversee smooth distribution of food. Maduro calls it part of the “Great Mission of Sovereign Supply” to combat food shortages. Padrino will be permitted to hand orders to all government ministries in this effort. The military will monitor food processing plants and take control of five ports as part of "war strategies" to provide food and medicine amid the economic crisis. 

CNBC describes General Padrino’s new position as “a newly created role that could best be described as co-president.” The article says that “Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro has resorted to what may be a last-ditch effort to stay in power.” Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Mary Anastasia O’Grady says that “Venezuela is now run by a quasi-military junta with the general sharing power with Mr. Maduro,” which she describes as a “self-coup.” Venezuela’s bishops release a statement saying they are profoundly uneasy about increasing the power of the military, describing it as a “threat to tranquility and peace.”