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A socialist mob attacks President Juan Guaidó in a restaurant

A mob of pro-regime socialists assaulted Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó at a public event over the weekend, pushing him out of a restaurant and throwing chairs at his aides.

The event happened in northern Cojedes state just days after Guaidó endured the indignity of not being invited to the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, a decision President Joe Biden made after having declared weeks ago that since it is not the legitimate government of the country, the socialist regime of dictator Nicolás Maduro would not be invited to the event either. The White House has not made it clear why Guaidó did not receive an invitation.

Juan Guaidó, a former lawmaker under the banner of the socialist Popular Will party, became Venezuela’s legal president in 2019 after Maduro’s fake presidential elections a year earlier. The Venezuelan constitution allows the National Assembly, the highest legislative body, to swear in an interim president to call a free and fair election as soon as possible in the event of a “breakdown in the democratic order”. Lawmakers defined the 2018 presidential election as such and officially inaugurated Guaidó in January 2019.

Although he is the legitimate president of the country, Guaidó has not exercised any of his technical presidential powers. As Maduro controls the military and almost all government institutions, Guaidó was only able to appoint ambassadors to friendly countries. In Venezuela, he wields no practical power and has largely lost the support of the Venezuelan people. The Venezuelan polling company Meganálisis found in a poll in April that Venezuelans give Guaidó an 84.1% disapproval rating.

The Cojedes incident happened in a restaurant on Saturday. Guaidó was in town to encourage Venezuelans to resume street protests against the regime – which largely died down after the socialist opposition resumed ‘negotiations’ with Maduro and to draw world attention to the dire humanitarian situation of Venezuela under the Maduro regime. Reports say those who met him at the restaurant were members of the “opposition” socialist Popular Will party, which Guaidó left after becoming president.

Videos show a crowd of people shouting “get out!” in Guaidó before someone pushed him out the door, prompting the crowd to physically assault him. Some start throwing chairs, at least one of which appears to hit the head of a member of Guaidó’s team.

Some Independent Venezuelan Media Reports identified crowd members as active politicians of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Maduro’s de facto ruling party.

Following news of the attack, Guaidó posted an Instagram Live video on Saturday discussing the incident, which his press office reproduced on Sunday. The president accused the PSUV of orchestrating the attack.

“It was an ambush led by legislators or members of parliamentary bodies that the regime is currently usurping,” Guaidó said.

Saturday’s attack was the latest in a string of similar assaults Guaidó has suffered since becoming president in 2019. Maduro’s regime, like that of his predecessor Hugo Chávez, has used known violent socialist gangs under the name of collective to attack, intimidate and kill opponents of the regime. More formally, the regime uses the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), a wing of the armed forces, to quell the protests.

In 2020, Maduro deployed the GNB to prevent Guaidó from entering his office at the National Assembly headquarters after illegally forcing him out of the post of Speaker of the Assembly, which he maintained at the same time as the title of interim president. Guaidó engaged in an altercation with GNB troops outside the Assembly building, jumping the high fence of the headquarters in an attempt to gain access to his office with the help of supporters.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken responded to video of the attack over the weekend by saying the Biden administration was “deeply concerned”.

America, he said in a message on Twitter, “condemns this escalation of acts of violence, harassment and intimidation against interim President Juan Guaidó and all those who defend democracy”.

The Biden administration — which hosts the Summit of the Americas, a conference that brings together heads of state from members of the Organization of American States (OAS) — has used its hosting privileges to not invite the Maduro regime to attend. to assist. While the OAS bars non-democracies from attending its events — which would technically bar Venezuela and Cuba from attending — far-left agitators had spent months pressuring Biden to break rules and still invites socialist dictatorships.

Biden also chose not to invite Guaidó, depriving Venezuela of any official representation at the event. The State Department claimed before the summit that inviting Guaidó would be a “call to the White House,” but the White House never explained the decision.

Biden personally called Guaidó last week shortly after news broke that he would not be invited to the event.

“President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with Interim President Juan Guaidó of Venezuela to emphasize the United States’ recognition and support of the democratically elected National Assembly in 2015 and Guaidó as as interim president of Venezuela,” according to a White House. reading phone calls.

“President Biden reaffirmed that the United States is willing to calibrate sanctions policy based on the outcome of negotiations that allow the Venezuelan people to determine the future of their country.”

Guaidó has quietly expressed concern about negotiations with Maduro or the lifting of US sanctions, reflecting what polls show is the Venezuelan people’s strong opposition to both, but his voice has been routinely drowned out by more senior members of the opposition. socialist, including leaders like former failed presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski and current Socialist International vice-president Henry Ramos Allup. These calls for cooperation with Maduro have further eroded support from the opposition, including Maduro.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.


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