Maduro allies take control of what had been Venezuela’s last democratic institution

Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro tightened his grip on the nation’s institutions Tuesday as a legislature packed with his loyalists took their seats in what was widely considered the country’s last democratic institution. The new lawmakers marched to the legislative palace carrying framed images of South American independence hero Simón Bolivar and the late Hugo Chavez. “Long live the Bolivarian revolution!” they shouted after entering the building. Analysts fear the Maduro-backed National Assembly — elected in a December vote widely decried as a farce — could be used to crack down on governme…

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