Venezuelan Legislators Grant Decree Powers To President

Venezuelan National Assembly has granted President Nicolas Maduro the power to govern by decree until December 31, 2015.

The president requested the approval of the Enabling Law after the United States issued new sanctions against Venezuelan officials.

He said he needed the special powers to deal with the threat posed by the United States, which he accuses of meddling in Venezuela’s affairs.

Opposition politicians however criticized the measure during a two-hour long debate. According to them, the president is using the incident to amass power and divert attention from the economic crisis.

“This is a weapon they are giving Maduro to use against those who disagree with him,” said opposition congressman, Angel Medina.

“The National Assembly cannot give up its powers in important matters such as sovereignty.”

Last week, relations between the two countries suffered a new blow when US President Barack Obama issued an executive order freezing the assets of seven Venezuelan officials and banning them from entering America.

Obama also said the situation in Venezuela, including “the government’s erosion of human rights guarantees and constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”.

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