The stances of the government and the Supreme Court have been criticized by legal scholars such as Vicente Gonzalez de la Vega, a law professor at Central University of Venezuela, who said the Supreme Court has effectively consummated a sort of ‘‘coup d'etat.’’
‘‘How can it say that the president isn’t absent and he’s in his duties when he can’t even sign a letter?’’ Gonzalez told the AP.
Francisco Madrid, a businessman and opposition supporter, called the Supreme Court’s decision ‘‘shameful.’’
‘‘It’s proof that all branches of the state respond to the government’s interests,’’ Madrid said while walking in downtown Caracas. He also complained that while the government is focused on such issues, there are shortages of foods such as sugar, chicken and flour.
Associated Press writers Vivian Sequera and Christopher Toothaker contributed to this report.
AP Interactive: http://hosted.ap.org/interactives/2012/venezuela/