Opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro pushed past guards outside the parliament building Tuesday to re-elect Juan Guaido as President of the National Assembly.
In dramatic video circulating on social media, Guaido and 100 diplomatic supporters stormed the parliamentary building in the latest episode of the turbulent fight for power between Guaido, who declared himself interim president last January, and Maduro, who was re-elected in 2018.
There have been concerns about the validity of Maduro’s most recent election after Guaido began disputing it about a year ago.
Turkey, China and Cuba support the socialist leader Maduro. About 50 countries, including the United States, have backed Guaido as the leader in Venezuela.
“In Venezuela, I want to thank and congratulate Juan Guaido on his re-election as president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, a legitimate re-election by a quorum of 100 deputies,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a news conference after opposition leaders entered parliament building.
On Sunday, lawmakers elected politician Luis Parra as the President of the National Assembly. Maduro supporters in parliament voted for him.
Meanwhile, guards blocked Guaido and supporters from entering the parliament building, where the election was taking place.
Later, opposition diplomats held a separate election, where they chose Guaido to lead the National Assembly.
But Tuesday, Guaido and 100 lawmakers intended to make the claim to the National Assembly more official by holding a vote to recognize his re-election from inside the building.
“From Venezuela, we know that for the international community it’s complex to understand what’s happening in our country,” Guaido tweeted Tuesday. “Today, the National Assembly diplomats, elected by the vote of the people, defeated the legislative coup attempt orchestrated by the dictatorship and their accomplices.”Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.