Sunday, April 2, 2017

Venezuela Socialist-Controlled Supreme Court Shuts Down Legislative Branch

After a months-long standoff in Venezuela that included the Socialist-controlled Supreme Court overturning many of the opposition-controlled National Assembly's decisions, the court has explicitly ruled it will now act as the legislative branch, Reuters reports. "As long as the situation of contempt in the National Assembly continues," the court ruled, "this constitutional chamber guarantees congressional functions will be exercised by this chamber or another chosen organ."

The secretary general of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, called the action a "self-inflicted coup d´├ętat perpetrated by the Venezuelan regime against the National Assembly." Several Latin American countries, including Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, expressed concerns and Peru withdrew its envoy, which Venezuela's foreign minister called "rude support for the violent and extremist sectors in Venezuela."

The opposition won control of the National Assembly in late 2015 as the long socialist project in Venezuela was coming to a brutal and inevitable head. Since then, the government has doubled-down on the kind of centrally planned and redistributionist policies that brought Venezuela to where it is in the first place. Instead of changing course, the government has found more and more scapegoats and "enemies" to blame for the economic crisis. Earlier this month, the socialist government accused bakers of waging "economic war" against the country and started arresting them for making bread rolls.

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