A new legislative period is about to begin this January 5 in Venezuela. The country, which has had two presidents since early 2019, now has two National Legislative Assemblies.
The National Assembly President led by Juan Guaido -who proclaimed as interim President in January 2019- set up his by 10 am, promising to keep on fighting to oust the Nicolas Maduro regime.
Agents from the Maduro-controlled SEBIN intelligence service surrounded the house, where Guaido was, but no arrests have been made so far.
The functioning will not be the full, opposition-held National Assembly elected in 2015, but just a Delegate Commission will be in charge of the legislative sessions. Only the board of directors, the presidents, and vice-presidents of the 15 permanent committees will be present.
On Monday, the US Department of the Treasury authorized transactions between the Guaido interim government and the US. The US, Japan, and Canada all announced Monday that they only recognized Guaido and rejected the National Assembly of Maduro.
While the 2015 Assembly has more than two-thirds of opposition lawmakers, the one elected on December 6, 2020, without opposition candidates is 90% pro-Maduro.
Of the 277 seats available, the Great Patriotic Pole took 256. New seats had to be added, as the new Assembly has 110 more deputies.
The installation session from the Chavismo got scheduled at 11:00 am in the Federal Legislative Palace. Independent press was not allowed. Only state and state-friendly media were allowed to get in, including some foreign outlets. All of the assistants had to take a government-administered Coronavirus test.
The first Vice-President of the United Socialist Party, Diosdado Cabello, was the first to spoke in the Chavista assembly. He proposed Jorge Rodriguez as its president, accompanied by Iris Varela and Didalco Bolivar in the first and second Vice-Presidencies. The proposal was approved.
The Delegate Commission presided over by Guaido, will meet behind closed doors, as confirmed by sources linked to the interim government. Since the beginning of 2020, the opposition no longer had access to the Federal Legislative Palace. Since then, most of its ordinary sessions have been online, also measures to prevent COVID-19.