International alarm as Venezuela accused of ‘coup’

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CARACAS, March 31, 2017 (BSS/AFP) – International powers voiced alarm Thursday at the Venezuelan Supreme Court’s move to seize power from the opposition-led legislature, in what several officials and analysts branded a “coup.”

The court’s move tightened socialist President Nicolas Maduro’s grip on power after more than a year locked in a political struggle with the center-right opposition.

Critics said it was an authoritarian turn for the South American oil giant,where an economic crisis has caused food shortages, riots and an epidemic of violent crime.

The crisis has raised concerns about stability in Venezuela, which has
undergone three attempted military coups since 1992.

The US State Department called the court’s move “a serious setback for
democracy.”

Regional powers Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Chile and others also
warned it was a threat to democracy in Venezuela.

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