Mon. Jan 18th, 2021

By George RUEDA and Joshua Goodman, Associated Press

Caracas, Venezuela (AP) – Nicolas Maduro was set to assert his hold on power on Tuesday, as the ruling Socialist Party was ready to take over the leadership of Venezuela’s Congress, the last institution in the country that did not already control it Was.

Maduro’s allies protested the legislative elections last month and were boycotted by the opposition and condemned by the US, EU and many other foreign governments as a pretense. Although the vote was downplayed, it turned the American-backed protest led by 37-year-old lawmaker Juan Guedo into irrelevance.

Exactly a year ago, Guedo, in a blue suit and tie, tried to scale a pointed iron fence to prevent a group of riot police from attending the inaugural session of parliament, which the Constitution says every The year should be held on January. 5.

Far from that electric display of disregard, Guad थी was expected to meet via a zoom with a group of opposition leaders for his own virtual parliamentary session.

Last month, anti-Madur lawmakers, several dozen of whom were deported, also gathered online to expand their mandate stemming from landslide victories for another 12 months in 2015, operating normally through a support committee Was reserved for legislative allowances.

The Supreme Court immediately declared the lawful loyalty to Maduro invalid. But that has not stopped the Trump administration from doubling in support of Guedo.

Venezuela recently stated on Twitter, “The national parliament will not be held captive until Venezuela has free elections.”

While Guado’s bravery has left no stone unturned, the opposition’s political fortunes have turned to Venezuela as their hopes for change have collapsed. Recent public opinion polls show that they have fallen more than half in support of Guadou since they first rose to challenge Maduro two years ago.

Meanwhile, Maduro managed to maintain a solid grip on the traditional arbiter of power and military, political disputes.

Gaye Arellano, an MP exiled in Colombia, said many underestimated Maduro, thinking that he leaves no chance in a cataclysmic economic environment marked by hyperflans, measuring miles by adding some money per month for gasoline and pulsvert wages. She goes.

But, he said, he has managed to overcome his enemies through a mixture of repression and co-election stemming from the opposition’s own audacity, Arolano said. She now hopes for a new round of repression that Maduro seized the Congress. On Tuesday, Guadau blasted on Twitter the photos she said were security forces around her apartment building in Caracas. The AP was unable to confirm the reports.

Reflecting a lack of unity, some lawmen still inside Venezuela – including Guadu’s former deputy as deputy national assembly vice president – indicated they would no longer claim their seats.

“We’re at the beginning of what seems like a very dark, new phase,” Arellano said.

Maduro can easily counter the opposition, his biggest threat coming from within his own coalition.

To reward loyal allies and paper on tensions between radical ideologies and moderates within the Bolivarian Revolution, the makeup of the legislature was expanded to 100 seats. She also had a bent on high-profile candidates, including First Lady Cilia Flores, in a futile attempt to boost turnout, which in the end was 30% – less than half of what it was in the 2015 election that gave Congress Control given opposition.

The new congress will be led by Maduro’s former Chief of Staff, George Rodriguez, who has held internationally sponsored talks with the opposition in the past as well as meeting with Trump administration envoys. Socialist Party boss Diosado Cabello, widely seen as the second most powerful figure in Venezuela, will lead the Socialist Party bloc.

Maduro announced the leadership structure on Monday, calling on the new Congress to negotiate with the opposition as well as focus on immediate economic measures.

“Venezuela’s eyes are on the new National Assembly,” Maduro said, adding that Maduro was expected to attend Tuesday’s inaugural session after years of avoiding consecutive sessions.

Goodman reported from Miami.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This content may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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