A woman throws a bottle during anti-government protests in Caracas. AP Photo
TODAY VENEZUELA – Venezuela sits on the world’s largest oil reserves. It had been South America’s longest-running democracy. Now it is an economic and democratic basket case with even electricity rationed by the leftist government of Nicolas Maduro.
Before the opposition coalition could take control of the National Assembly after winning 60 percent of the seats in December, Maduro’s lame duck United Socialist Party responded by filling 12 Supreme Tribunal vacancies with judges.
In what amounted to a coup of sorts March 29, that court “nullified” the legislature’s lawmaking powers, bestowing those responsibilities on itself. In addition, it gave Maduro the ability to suspend elections and imprison opposition leaders.
It previously had granted him sole power of