The Chavista hierarchy has decided to formalize “de facto” its take of the National Assembly of Venezuela, or at least of the Federal Legislative Palace of Caracas, the building that houses it, in order to strengthen the investiture of Luis Parra, the opposition deputy who proclaimed himself president of Parliament with the support of the votes of the Chavista bench on January 5. A new example of this occurred on Wednesday, when altercations have occurred again and the police and armed civil groups have prevented access by the opposition leader Juan Guaidó, recognized as interim president for almost 60 countries, and his relatives to Parliament.
The president of the Chavez National Constituent Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, number two of the regime, ordered his militancy to occupy several blocks of the center of Caracas to forcefully prevent the entry of Guaidó and the rest of the deputies of the majority opposition bench , who were preparing to attend ordinary sessions to assert their majority status.
Cabello has maneuvered to protect the questioned investiture of Parra, trying at all costs that Guaidó does not enter the hemicycle of sessions so as not to have to face the fact that the opposition bench, with a clear majority in the National Assembly, defeats them in a count ordinary, even in spite of the defections, threats and bribes of the last weeks. The last available resource, complied with sufficiency, has been to prevent it by force.
This Wednesday, several vehicles of deputies and journalists have been attacked with stones, eggs and some with bullets, according to the leaders denounce. In some cases, the windows of the trucks were broken with the back of the guns used by some members of the known as collective, armed civil groups. “In fractions of seconds the police picket opened and a huge mob of armed groups lashed out at us, before the contemplative gaze of the guards. At least four shots have our car ”, has denounced the secretary of the Chamber of Deputies Ángelo Palmeri. The teachers who were going to participate in the session, invited by Guaidó, were also attacked while they were stationed with their banners and chants in protest after hostilities. Cabello has asked government supporters for a permanent presence in the area and for that he has called for an indefinite sequence of political activities for the coming days.
The atmosphere that governed the blocks adjacent to the Legislative Palace, on University Avenue, was apparently festive. Several bugles were installed in which there were ballads of protest against the United States and traditional tunes of the Venezuelan plain, the favorites of Hugo Chávez. The passage to the Parliament building has never been formally closed, and on the sidewalks, scattered, an impressive alignment of motorcycles could be seen, with hundreds of contingents from the Guard, the Police and the Bolivarian National Militia.
There were, however, many more civil and military security officials than sympathetic people. There were also several Chavista paramilitary groups. The passage of the Chavez hierarchy to the Palace was greeted militarily by some.
The opposition leadership, which had organized a caravan from the headquarters of Democratic Action, in the east of the city, to reach the center, had planned that they would again be prevented, as happened last week, when several journalists They were attacked, including EL PAÍS correspondent Francesco Manetto.
Opposition deputies do not stop repeating that the Federal Legislative Palace is the headquarters of the National Assembly, but that it can be installed and operate with full legitimacy and sovereignty where it decides to meet, as stipulated by the National Constitution. Hence, Guaidó and the vice presidents of parliament, Juan Pablo Guanipa and Carlos Berrizbeitia, together with the almost 100 deputies who make a majority in the Chamber, had this Wednesday all ready to organize their session at the El Hatillo Amphitheater, to the east end of Caracas , a forum for musical and political shows that can seat all displaced legislative bureaucracy. Everything seems to indicate that it will be the new headquarters of the National Assembly.
The investiture of Parra, which has occupied the offices of the Presidency of the Legislature, and has an official escort at its service with the consent of Chavismo, has not been taken very seriously in the country. The Chavista leadership is clear that it needs, at least, a National Assembly facade to be able to formalize its agreements with Russia, China and other allied nations, which continue to demand formal legislative support in order to understand the Venezuelan State. While the long-running pulse between Guaidó and Chavismo continues, Venezuelan institutions face the absurd existence of two Parliaments, in addition to a National Constituent Assembly.