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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Granted Power to Rule by Decree

Parliament granted Nicolas Maduro the power to rule by decree in response to a U.S. order imposing sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials.
Image: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks in Caracas after receiving the law Sunday granting him the power to rule by decree.JUAN BARRETO / AFP - Getty Images

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was given the power Sunday to rule by decree through the end of the year in response to U.S. President Barack Obama's executive order imposing sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials for alleged human rights violations.

Parliament approved Maduro's request for emergency powers in the second of two votes Sunday, the president's office and the national news service Ultimas Noticias said.

Obama issued the executive order last Monday to address "the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by" the South American country. Maduro has sparked protests for locking up opposition leaders and recently drew U.S. anger for saying his government had captured Americans — including a pilot — involved in espionage activities.

Image: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks in Caracas after receiving the law Sunday granting him the power to rule by decree.JUAN BARRETO / AFP - Getty Images

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— M. Alex Johnson