CARACAS, 13th January 2020 – Venezuela security forces blocked on Sunday opposition lawmakers and their leader Juan Guaido to enter the Nation Assembly and celebrate cession for his re-election as president of the legislative body. Meanwhile, Maduro supporters inside the building teamed up with former opposition lawmakers, accused of corruption in early December and expelled from their respective parties, to name Juan Parra as the new president of the Assembly. The voting process was not recorded, and it is not clear even if there was quorum enough to celebrate the election. After failing from entering the building, the opposition celebrated their own election in the headquarters of a local newspaper were with 100 out 165 votes they ratified Juan Guaido as the active President for the 2020 term, last of this Assembly elected in 2015.
In validating the irregular vote celebrated last Sunday at the National Assembly, Maduro earned the scorn of most Latin America including leftist governments like Argentina, Mexico, and Uruguay which criticized the incident. The U.S., which has backed Guaido for the past year, congratulated him for being re-elected while Russia, which supports Maduro, called Parra’s election legitimate and democratic.
On Tuesday, Juan Guaido and allied legislators pushed past armed troops and forced open the doors of Congress to hold a session. The Opposition, fragmented during the last months, regroup again around Guaido, whose popularity received a very needed boost right after the events.
According to the ambassador in the U.S. Carlos Vecchio, Guaido’s administration is asking the international community to put pressure on Russia, including companies like Rosneft, which operates in Venezuela, to stop supporting the Maduro regime. Russia is blamed by the opposition lawmakers to promote the coup against the National Assembly in an attempt to secure deals and change the rules for participating in the oil industry, which requires the approval of the legislative body.
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