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The majority party in Venezuela gave President Nicolas Maduro the power to temporarily govern Venezuela by decree, thanks to a law described by opposition activists as a measure to cover up the government's weaknesses and to subjugate the Venezuelan people. It is the second time Maduro has been given such powers and the late populist Hugo Chávez, Maduro's mentor and predecessor, ruled by fiat four times in his 14-year tenure. In her modern tragedy Golondrinas (Swallows), Venezuelan expatriate playwright/director/actor Aminta De Lara likens the nation's acquiescence to the submissiveness of a family to a dominating and abusive father.

In an apartment in Caracas, two abused daughters discover their father slumped half-dead in an armchair, a liquor bottle frozen in his hand, while anti-government protests, counter-demonstrations and government retaliations rage outside.

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