Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has been forced this Wednesday to convene the session of the National Assembly (AN, Parliament) in an amphitheater in Caracas, after a delegation of parliamentarians was attacked by armed civilians whom it considers paramilitaries.
A brief message from the AN on Twitter assured minutes before Guaidó and the Board of Directors of the Assembly can convene a session, according to the rules of the Chamber, “in places other than the hemicycle.”
The decision is made by Guaidó after groups of armed civilians, considered paramilitaries by government detractors and human rights groups, prevented the entry of opposition deputies who were addressing the National Assembly (AN, Parliament).
Efe found that the civilians attacked with sticks and stones the trucks in which a delegation of opposition legislators was traveling and the Guaidó press team denounced that some of those civilians, who are part of groups known as “collective”, came to shoot at the entourage. These parliamentarians were part of a commission that moved to the AN to verify the situation before the bulk of the deputies tried to access the premises.
“With guns shot, there are videos, there are the destroyed glass of an armored truck”, Deputy Carlos Prosperi told the media after evading the attackers. “We denounce before the world the siege of Parliament,” he added before assuring that the Legislature would try to hold the session convened for today in a different venue to the Federal Palace, since they will continue to “face Venezuela.”
The deputy Delsa Solórzano, who was part of the delegation, also reported on Twitter that the caravan was shot. While the second vice president of Parliament, Carlos Berrizbeitia, denounced the complicity of law enforcement forces with the attackers and asked the defense minister, Vladimir Padrino, an explanation for the events.
“Godfather, that uniform he has belongs to all Venezuelans, how can he be protecting the terrorist firing in the Federal Legislative Palace with guns,” he asked the head of Defense.
According to the opponent, members of the Bolivarian National Police (GNP), the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB, militarized police) and military counterintelligence (DGCIM) witnessed the civilian attacks without intervening. “We have to thank God that there was no death or serious injury,” he added.
Opponents again concentrated on the headquarters of the Democratic Action party, the traditional Social Democratic Party in Venezuela, where Guaidó is expected to decide on a new place for today’s session.
Parliament is the only power that controls the opposition in Venezuela, but its decisions are not followed by the Executive since he was sentenced in “contempt” by the Supreme weeks after the opponents took control.
On the Legislative also plans the controversy after on January 5 the deputy Luis Parra will ensure that he was elected as president of the body in a bitter session to which Guaidó and more than 100 deputies could not enterr after being held for hours by cords of the militarized Police. That same day, and in an impromptu session at the headquarters of the newspaper El Nacional, Guaidó was re-elected as head of Parliament with 100 of the 167 votes at stake.