Venezuelan Military Blocks Opposition in New Try to Enter Parliament

Outside the Venezuelan parlament on January 15, 2020. Photo: AP

HAVANA TIMES – Venezuelan opposition lawmakers said they were attacked during an attempt to enter parliament on Wednesday, in an ongoing stand-off between them and security forces for control of the building, reported dpa news.

“Today they show themselves as they are: a dictatorship that sequestered the federal palace,” the seat of the National Assembly, opposition leader Juan Guaido tweeted.

Security forces also prevented the opposition from entering parliament on January 5.

On that day, legislators supportive of President Nicolas Maduro elected Luis Parra speaker of parliament, while the opposition met elsewhere and re-elected Guaido, who had presided over the National Assembly since January 2019.

The opposition had announced a meeting with teachers in the parliament building on Wednesday.

But paramilitary groups joined security forces outside the building, lawmaker Carlos Prosperi said.

Vehicles carrying lawmakers were attacked by people armed with sticks and traffic cones, according to a video posted by Guaido’s office on Twitter. Some lawmakers reported shots.

The opposition headed by Guaido has waged a power struggle with Maduro’s government since the opposition leader declared himself the country’s interim president nearly a year ago.

He won the backing of dozens of countries, but has been unable to oust Maduro, who has the support of the military.

Maduro won a second term in a widely considered fraudulent election in 2018, and has overseen a massive economic crisis, which has sent millions of Venezuelans fleeing abroad.

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