Juan Guaidó sworn in for second term as caretaker leader.
Venezuela’s increasingly byzantine political meltdown took its latest turn on Tuesday as opponents of authoritarian president Nicolás Maduro stormed the country’s parliament to reinstall Juan Guaidó as their leader.
Troops loyal to Maduro had surrounded the palm-dotted national assembly compound in Caracas in a bid to keep Guaidó and his supporters out after the president’s attempt to seize control of the parliament on Sunday.
But in frantic scenes that spread rapidly on social media, Guaidó and his backers were filmed physically forcing their way into the 19th-century capitol to cheers of “Viva Venezuela!”
Outside, pro-government thugs attacked and robbed Venezuelan and European journalists, including one correspondent from Spain’s El País.
Inside, Guaidó was sworn in for a second term as Venezuela’s caretaker leader, even though the auditorium’s electricity had been cut.
“In the name of those who have no voice, of the mothers who weep in the distance, of the teachers who are battling and the nurses and the students, of the political prisoners … in the name of Venezuela, I vow to fulfill the duties of interim president,” said Guaidó, who is recognized by more than 50 governments including the United States and United Kingdom but boasts little concrete power.
Guaidó’s wife, Fabiana Rosales, tweeted: “Now the struggle goes on, together with all Venezuelans we will rescue our country from dictatorship.”
The new decade has started with a bang in Venezuela, with Guaidó’s stuttering year-long campaign to topple Maduro suddenly reinvigorated by this week’s events.