CARACAS, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela's government on Friday delivered its state of the nation address to the Supreme Court of Justice in a speech that saw the ruling party boost its achievements and slam the opposition during a tumultuous year in the country.
Vice President Tareck El Aissami presented the review to the high-court judges at a time when Venezuela's conservative assembly and ruling socialist party are locked in a bitter power struggle that has led both sides to refuse to recognize measures taken by the other.
During his approximately hour-long address, the vice president presented the government's achievements and challenges in foreign policy, the economy, social programs and other areas, in what he described as a "long and complicated year."
The political opposition's "economic war" continued to wreak havoc on the economy, he said.
"2016 saw the most merciless economic war that any country has ever suffered," said El Aissami, denouncing systematic smuggling and currency speculation, which he blamed on the opposition.
The government accuses the opposition of creating artificial shortages of basic goods to spark discontent as well as stockpiling billions in the local currency, the bolivar, to destabilize the economy, which is struggling with galloping inflation.
To counter the problems and defend workers' wages, the government raised the minimum wage five times between January 2016 and January 2017, El Aissami said.