Coup inside a coup: Guaidó is not allowed to enter Venezuelan parliament

Venezuelan security forces have prevented self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó from entering Parliament. A vote on the presidency was on the agenda there, a position held by Guaidó. His opposition party has a large majority in the National Assembly.

The leader of the opposition to President Nicolas Maduro still tried to climb over a fence around parliament, but was stopped there by a large number of MEs. Other members of his party struggled to enter Congress.

In parliament, the independent parliamentarian Luis Parra was sworn in as new president with the support of Maduro’s socialists, despite loud protests from Guaidó supporters. “This is nothing less than another major blow to our constitution,” Guaidó said after the vote. He spoke of a parliamentary coup.

A few hours later, the opposition held its own vote outside the parliament building for a new president, with Guaidó receiving the most votes. No members of Maduro’s party were present at this vote.

Calling on the constitution, Guaidó (36) proclaimed himself almost a year ago as the interim president of Venezuela. He said that Maduro had committed fraud in the 2018 presidential election and that his position was therefore vacant. The Constitution states that in such a case, the President of Parliament takes over the presidential duties. More than fifty countries have recognized him as a legitimate ruler, including the Netherlands and the United States.

Venezuela, with the largest proven oil reserves in the world, has been suffering from a deep economic crisis for many years. People are starving and the country is struggling with medicine shortages and hyperinflation. Millions of Venezuelans have fled to neighboring countries.

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