Venezuela Supreme Court says state of emergency constitutional

A woman with a sign reading "There is no food" protests against new emergency powers decreed by President Nicolas Maduro in front of police in Caracas

Caracas (AFP) – A state of emergency decreed in Venezuela this week by President Nicolas Maduro is constitutional, the Supreme Court ruled.

As the opposition pushed for a referendum to remove him from office, Maduro issued the decree giving sweeping powers to the security forces to impose public order and help distribute food. The opposition-controlled congress rejected the decree.

But the Supreme Court upheld it as constitutional “given the extraordinary social, economic, political, natural and ecological circumstances that are gravely affecting the national economy.”