Skip to main content

Government supporters hurl stones at a caravan of opposition lawmakers on their way to the National Assembly, in Caracas, Venezuela, on Jan. 15, 2020.

Matias Delacroix /The Associated Press

Armed security forces and civilian motorcycle groups loyal to Venezuela’s president forcefully blocked opposition lawmakers from entering the National Assembly building to hold a session on Wednesday.

It’s the second time this month that lawmakers have been barred from the building that houses the only branch of government out of control of President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government.

Attempting to reach the legislative chamber, the caravan of cars carrying the deputies dodged through downtown streets, but ultimately failed.

Story continues below advertisement

Gunshots could heard near the cars, but no injuries were reported. Two SUV’s carrying the lawmakers came under attack by people on the street dressed in civilian clothes. They struck the rear window of one, shattering it.

“The dictatorship is intent on militarily kidnapping the Federal Legislative Palace and using repressive instruments and paramilitary groups,” Guaido said on Twitter, accusing Maduro’s government of following a “clumsy and erroneous path.”

He said that the lawmakers had decided to hold the session at another location in the Caracas suburb of El Hatillo.

The incident was part of a struggle for control of the opposition-controlled National Assembly and Venezuela as a whole, a nation suffering economic and social collapse that’s led estimated 4.5 million to emigrate.

A once oil-wealthy nation, Venezuela has been locked in a political, economic and social collapse for the last five years. Basic medicines, food and gasoline are scarce, despite the fact Venezuela sits atop the world’s largest oil reserves.

The 36-year-old Guaido leaped onto Venezuela’s political stage a year ago when he declared himself acting president under the constitution and vowed to to end Maduro’s rule. The United States and more than 50 other nations quickly backed him, saying Maduro’s re-election in 2018 was illegitimate.

Guaido was also blocked from the National Assembly building early this month in a failed government attempt to prevent him from being re-elected as the body’s leader.

Story continues below advertisement

It’s unclear where Guaido was during the attempted entry to the National Assembly building on Wednesday.

Opposition lawmaker Delsa Solorzano said she was riding in a car with at least three other lawmakers that came under attack near the legislative building with rocks and sticks. She also reported hearing gunfire.

“Evidently tried to kill us,” Solorzano said. “Today, our parliament is practically kidnapped.”

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies