Video Credit: CEN/@Presidencia_VE
This is the moment a mob of supporters of the Venezuelan president stop a van of MPs who support opposition leader Juan Guaido from reaching the National Assembly by smashing the rear window.
The startling scenes were recorded from inside the van travelling to the Federal Legislative Palace in the Venezuelan capital Caracas as dozens of Maduro supporters, groups known as ‘colectivos’, gathered to stop the lawmakers from the reaching the paarliament building.
The incident is the latest case of President Nicolas Maduro seemingly preventing Guaido from presiding over the assembly and reports state Maduro’s supporters even opened fire on the opposition politicians’ vehicles.
The lawmakers are supporters of Guaido, the opposition leader whose backers say is the legitimate leader of the National Assembly.
In the video, a man dressed in red, reportedly part of an organised group of Maduro supporters, can be seen running behind the van with a traffic cone which he uses to hit the rear window.
Another man, also a reported Maduro supporter, the runs up behind the van and smashes the window with an unknown object.
Deputy Delsa Solorzano was reportedly travelling in the van with other lawmakers at the time and says the bulletproof windows “saved our lives”.
Reports state there was widespread chaos during the incident and shots were fired on the motorcade of opposition lawmakers.
Local media report the Maduro supporters’ actions stopped the deputies travelling in the van from reaching the National Assembly and they were instead diverted to the headquarters of the Accion Democratica (Democratic Action) political party.
They reportedly met opposition leader Juan Guaido there and decided to hold the assembly in the El Hatillo Ampitheater in the future.
The National Assembly, dominated by members of the opposition, was due to discuss “possible action for overcoming the crisis in educative material” and “a debate about the salary crisis and the consequences on the purchasing power of Venezuelans in the face of a complex humanitarian emergency”.
The Constituent Assembly hand-picked by Maduro met successfully. Reports state journalists trying to cover the event had their equipment robbed by the ‘colectivos’ who claim Guaido cannot call the session of the assembly as he is no longer the president of the National Assembly, something he disputes.
On 5th January, Guaido had been up for re-election as president of the National Assembly but was reportedly blocked from going into the chamber by security forces.
Opposition lawmakers moved to hold the vote at the office of a local newspaper but Maduro’s backer elected Luis Parra on a voice vote in the assembly chamber. He has reportedly now moved into Guaido’s office.
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.