Federal armed forces blocked opposition members of the Venezuelan National Assembly from entering the legislative building to attend a session in Caracas on January 7, according to reports.
“Here we find ourselves at the seat of the federal legislative palace. Here is representative Avilio Troconiz. Again, the intent of the national armed forces is to impede the deputies from passing. We have to enter, literally, by fighting our way in,” said First Vice President of the National Assembly Juan Pablo Guanipa in a video he filmed of himself outside the legislative building.
“I want you all to know, sincerely, that the deputies, an immense majority of them … are here. And we are going to keep fighting until we achieve democracy, liberty, and you, as Venezuelans, can feel that you have real liberty and that you can count on quality of life, on public services, on democracy, on economic recuperation. This country has to move forward!” Guanipa says in the video.
Chaotic scenes unfolded as acting president Juan Guaido and his supporters eventually forced their way into the legislative building after a standoff with armed forces.
The incident came two days after allies of disputed incumbent president Nicolas Maduro swore in Luis Parra as head of the assembly when Guaido was prevented from attending the vote, while the opposition-controlled National Assembly ratified the presidency of Guaido, along with a new board of directors.
Guaido and his supporters denounced the appointment as illegitimate, as did several countries, including the United States. Credit: Juan Pablo Guanipa via Storyful