Venezuela’s National Assembly on Tuesday gave President Nicolas Maduro wide-ranging special powers to rule by decree for one year.
The socialist president of the OPEC member state says he needs the greater personal power as his government struggles with soaring inflation and shortages of basic goods.
Maduro requested the special powers last month, citing the need to fight corruption and take on opponents who are waging “economic warfare” against his government.
Maduro, 50, has said he will use the expanded powers to impose caps on private sector profits and crack down on speculators.
The vote is the latest move by the elected Venezuelan leader, a protege of late president Hugo Chavez, to strengthen his hand as he faces an important political test in municipal elections next month.
Over the weekend, Maduro used his existing authority to make retail appliance stores slash prices, sending troops to keep order among the unruly crowds that quickly formed.
The deep discounts of as much as 60 percent — which Maduro has said would be extended to toys, cars and clothing — come as workers cash their year end pay bonuses, allowing them to make purchases that otherwise might have been out of reach.
Venezuela has been battered by a 54 percent rate of inflation, a shortage of hard currency, and widespread shortages.
Critics however blame Venezuela’s economic woes on the government-imposed fixed exchange rate and price controls, saying they have led to a lack of basic goods such as toilet paper, rice and meat.
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who refused to concede defeat to Maduro in April’s presidential election, has called the parliamentary move a “fraud against Venezuelans.”
Capriles called Maduro “a failed Cuban-style puppet, who aims to impose upon us an economic model that does not work.”
[Image via Agence France-Presse]
Democrat moves to impeach Trump immediately following House condemning president’s racism
Immediately following the House of Representatives voting to condemn racist remarks by President Donald Trump, a Democrat introduced a privileged motion to impeach the president.
Rep. Al Green (D-TX) gave an impassioned speech to begin impeachment proceedings for Trump committing high crimes and misdemeanors.
"Therefore, Donald John Trump, by causing such harm to the society of the United States, is unfit to be president and warrants impeachment, trial and removal from office," he said.
Trump ‘reached into the Genesis chapter of the bigot’s bible’ to attack the Squad: journalist
On Tuesday, journalist Jamil Smith wrote a column scorching President Donald Trump's attacks on "The Squad," as an act of utmost bigotry — and narcissism.
"Trump would surely love to run against these four women in 2020 rather than an actual opponent, positioning them all as racial bogeymen," wrote Smith. "It's a royal flush for his racist campaign: two black women, including one who wears a hijab and is a Somali refugee; a boricua from the Bronx; and a first-generation Palestinian-American from Detroit."
House of Representatives votes for resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s racism
President Donald Trump was condemned by the House of Representatives on Tuesday for his racist attacks on young women of color in Congress.
The resolution was passed with the support of every Democrat. The final vote was 240-187.
The text said "Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color."
The resolved that the body "strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should “go back” to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as “invaders,” and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America."