The Americas

Venezuela opposition congress tries to start legislating

Venezuela's newly-seated opposition congress is getting down to the business of writing laws. Whether the socialist-controlled courts and other institutions will enforce those laws is unknown.

Opposition leaders stepped back from the brink of a showdown between branches of power on Wednesday when they agreed to unseat three contested lawmakers.

The Supreme Court had said those lawmakers could not be seated until officials had investigated claims that they engaged in voter fraud, and later said anything the body did would be null until the lawmakers were gone.

Opposition leaders are calling the move a tactical retreat and starting to outline policy proposals. Chief among the initiatives are legislation to give amnesty to jailed activists and a bill to give people in public housing the title to their homes.