Friday, December 8, 2023

Venezuela opposition leader and rival both claim speaker role

EPA-EFE/Rayner Pena
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido climbs a fence in an attempt to enter the headquarters of the National Assembly, guarded by the police to prevent his entry and that of opposition deputies in Caracas, Venezuela, 05 January 2020. Chavista deputies of the National Assembly (AN, Parliament) elected Luis Parra, former member of the First Justice party, as President of the Parliament, in a brief debate that opposition leader and now former president of the Parliament Juan Guaido did not attend as he was held for hours by the Police around the Legislative Palace. Before the session, troops of the Bolivarian National Police (GNP) and the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB, militarized police), prevented Guaido and other deputies access to Parliament.

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Venezuela’s US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó and rival Luis Parra both declared themselves speaker of the national assembly on 5 January.
Guaidó was aiming to be re-elected to the post, but was stopped by security forces from entering parliament, together with other MPs. A video showed him trying to climb an iron fence to get into the building, after his plea was rejected.
Before the vote, Guaidó accused the government of bribing politicians to thwart his re-election.
Last year, after disputing president Nicolas Maduro‘s 2018 re-election, Guaidó proclaimed himself the country’s interim president, and was backed by almost 60 countries, including the EU, the US and UK.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and Bolivia’s interim president Jeanin Anez congratulated Guaido, while Venezuelan foreign minister Jorge Arreaza described the event as another attempt by the US “to impose fake governments”.
“I congratulate Juan Guaidó on his re-election as president of the Venezuelan National Assembly and condemn the failed efforts of the former Maduro regime to negate the will of the democratically-elected National Assembly”, Pompeo said.
“The dictatorship has once again committed another mistake”, Guaidó said.
Since the crisis, Venezuela suffers inflation and shortages of gasoline, running water and electricity. Some 4.5 million Venezuelans have abandoned the country.

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