Venezuela’s Supreme Court has consolidated President Nicolás Maduro’s power with a decision that removes budgetary authority from the nation’s Congress, the only institution that is controlled by the opposition.
The ruling late Tuesday came as opponents of the president prepared to gather enough signatures for a recall referendum to force him from office.
The judges’ decision allows the court itself to approve Mr. Maduro’s budget, which he is expected to present by decree on Friday. The move caps a yearlong effort by the leftist government to use the courts, which are controlled by Maduro loyalists, to neutralize the Congress …. http://www.nytimes.com