Venezuela’s socialist government has ordered public workers to work a two-day week as an energy-saving measure in the crisis-hit country. President Nicolas Maduro (centre) had already given most of Venezuela’s 2.8 million state employees Fridays off during April and May to cut down on electricity consumption. Photograph: Miraflores Palace/Handout via Reuters.

Venezuela’s socialist government has ordered public workers to work a two-day week as an energy-saving measure in the crisis-hit country. President (...)

Union members and members of Workers’ Party demonstrate in support of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Sao Paulo on Friday. Photograph: Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images

The focus of Brazil’s deepening political crisis shifts to the streets on Sunday with protests for and against the ruling Workers’ Party to be held ju(...)

Former Argentine president Cristina Kirchner: Due in court over sale of dollar future contracts. Photograph: Eitan Abramovich AFP/Getty Images

These are difficult days for South American presidents, with both serving and former members of this select group snarled up in a series of corruption(...)

 President Nicolás Maduro: The opposition  fears he  will  bypass the assembly’s decision by having the decree powers confirmed by the country’s top court. Photograph: EPA

Venezuela’s opposition-controlled national assembly has rejected a decree granting emergency economic powers to president Nicolás Maduro, deepening th(...)

People queue to try to buy corn flour and rice, outside a supermarket in Caracas  after Venezuela’s socialist government decreed an “economic emergency”. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

His government’s incompetence brutally exposed by the crash in the oil price, Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro has declared an “economic emergency(...)

Newly-elected opposition deputy Juan Requesens   argues with Chavista deputies during the new parliament’s swearing-in ceremony in Caracas:  a Chavista-dominated court ordered the temporary suspension of the mandates of four new deputies, three from the opposition, after their victories were questioned by the ruling socialists.  Photograph: Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images

Venezuela’s main opposition alliance took control of the country’s national assembly yesterday amid a deepening power struggle between it and the cou(...)

Argentina’s president-elect Mauricio Macri: wants a free trade deal between Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance trade bloc of Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia. Photograph: Enrique Marcarian/Reuters

Mauricio Macri’s swearing-in as Argentina’s first democratically elected right-wing president takes place on Thursday amid an unedifying spat with the(...)

Opposition supporters celebrate in Caracas, Venezuela, early on Monday. Venezuela’s opposition won control of the National Assembly by a landslide on Sunday, delivering a major setback to the ruling party and altering the balance of power after 17 years of socialist rule. Photograph: AP

Venezuela’s opposition trounced the ruling Socialists on Sunday to win the legislature for the first time in 16 years and gain a long-sought platform(...)

A supporter of Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro holds a poster with a picture of the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez  during the last campaign rally with pro-government candidates for Sunday’s upcoming parliamentary elections, in Caracas on Thursday. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

With the political sands shifting in South America, the Bolivarian revolution of the late Hugo Chávez faces a major dilemma heading into crucial mid-t(...)

Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro greets supporters after a meeting in the Petare district of Caracas. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

Venezuela’s president has hinted that he will not accept the result of crucial mid-term elections being held on Sunday should his Chavista movement l(...)