On January 7, Juan Guaidó was sworn in as president of the National Assembly (NA) and interim President of Venezuela. Guaidó and his allies succeeded in entering the NA building after a standoff with security forces, forcing Dep. Luis Parra, who had been appointed Assembly chief on January 5 by the ruling party Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV, for its acronym in Spanish) and opposition parties not aligned with Guaidó, to exit the building when Guaidó arrived. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro did not make any statement on the matter, but both he and Guaidó are expected to make announcements in the coming days.
“On behalf of Venezuela, I swear to honor my duties as president of the National Assembly and interim President of the country,” announced Guaidó before the other officials were duly sworn in and the new ordinary session began.
Venezuela has been thrown into fresh political and institutional turmoil since the January 5 Assembly elections, capitalized upon by Guaidó when he sought re-election as Assembly president, vital to legitimize his role as the self-proclaimed president of Venezuela, even though security forces barred him and his allies from participating in the Assembly voting session.
At the time, given Guaidó’s absence, the PSUV and some other deputies elected opposition lawmaker Luis Parra for the role, though without the necessary majority in parliament. Meanwhile, in a parallel session at a separate location, another vote was held renewing Guaidó’s term as president of the NA. While President Maduro responded by endorsing Parra as the NA’s rightful president, countries in the region including Argentina, Chile and Colombia roundly denounced the events taking place on Sunday at the NA.