There have been demonstrations in Venezuela after the Supreme Court took over legislative powers from the National Assembly.
Critics say the development takes the country closer to one-man rule under President Nicolas Maduro.
The Organisation of American States (OAS) described the move as the “final blow to democracy in the country”.
The ruling effectively dissolves the elected legislature which has been dominated by the president’s opponents.
The secretary general of the OAS, Luis Almagro, described the move as a “self-inflicted coup” by Mr Maduro’s government.
It comes after months of consolidation of power by the country’s president, who is locked in a political struggle with the centre-right opposition.
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SOURCE: BBC News