US Sanctions Venezuelan Opposition Leader for Beating Guaido in National Assembly President Vote
Elected with 81 votes in a 167-seat assembly with 150 of the members present
The recently elected speaker of Venezuela’s National Assembly Luis Parra is among seven Venezuelans targeted by a new round of US sanctions, the Treasury Department said.
“Today’s designations focus on seven Maduro-aligned National Assembly delegates who took steps to undermine the elections process in the National Assembly,” Treasury said. “The group is led by Luis Eduardo Parra Rivero, who continues to obstruct the proceedings of the National Assembly.” [How Orwellian.]
On 6 January, the US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams announced that Washington was considering to apply additional sanctions – personal and economic – against Venezuela “to bring more pressure on the regime.”
This came following the election of the Speaker of the National Assembly, the post which was claimed by Juan Guaido, who declared himself the country’s interim president last January and was backed by the US and some Latin American countries, and Luis Parra, a lawmaker from the Primero Justicia party. [Guaido was up for re-election but knowing he didn’t have the votes he decided to create a circus and claim he was barred from entering instead.]
Guaido, who accused police of preventing him from entering the National Assembly building in Caracas to take part in the vote, called Parra’s election illegitimate, saying that the session was not attended by the required minimum of lawmakers.
Luis Parra was backed by President Nicolas Maduro, who said that Guaido was “kicked out of the National Assembly by the votes of his own opposition”. [Operating under an anybody-but-Guaido strategy pro-government members indeed backed Parra but the moderate opposition joined in with at least 30 votes of their own.]
Some of the background from The Grayzone:
As it became clear that he was about to lose his reelection, the increasingly farcical Guaidó put on the latest episode of his parallel reality show. He convinced some of the world’s most shameless journalists that he was physically barred from entering the National Assembly by security forces. The video evidence shows otherwise.
Guaidó refused to enter the premises if he wasn’t permitted to bring in 11 former members of the National Assembly. These 11 range from members who were ruled ineligible to serve in the legislature by Venezuela’s Supreme Court due to an alleged vote-buying scheme in their elections, to members who had their parliamentary immunity stripped for having participated in the April 30, 2019 attempted uprising – the one in which the Guaidó faction courageously took over an exit ramp.
The focus on the 11 former legislators who weren’t allowed to enter ignores the nearly 100 opposition legislators who did enter and were present for the vote.
After losing, the Guaidó spectacle continued. He decided to create a parallel congress to go with his parallel presidency — presumably with the upcoming blessing of the parallel Supreme Court. (Keep in mind this “court” operates out of Miami, and is experiencing the same internal meltdown as the rest of the opposition.)