Venezuela’s leaders shred the constitution to hold onto power

VENEZUELA’S FAILING populist government has responded to the opposition’s landslide victory in a congressional election last month with a crude political coup. The government of Nicolás Maduro first used its majority in the lame-duck National Assembly to pack the constitutional court with new members. That court then moved to suspend the results of the election in one state, thereby depriving the opposition of a supermajority that would give it extraordinary powers. On Monday, the court followed up by declaring that all actions of the new National Assembly would be null and void — in effect canceling the results of the election.