The ‘Chavistas’ deputies return to Parliament after the agreement between the Government and minority parties


The deputies of the so-called Bloque de la Patria, which includes the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and their allies, have rejoined the National Assembly on Tuesday, in compliance with one of the agreements reached by the Government of Nicolás Maduro and minority parties of the Venezuelan opposition in the new dialogue.

These are about 40 'Chavista' deputies that include former ministers Francisco Torrealba, Hugbel Roa and Ricardo Molina and the former governor of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) Ricardo Sanguino, as well as some members of the Constituent Assembly. “Chavez lives, the country goes on!” and “Always loyal, traitors never!”, they have shouted as they broke into the hemicycle, local press reports.

The ‘Chavistas’ deputies return to Parliament after the agreement between the Government and minority parties
The ‘Chavistas’ deputies return to Parliament after the agreement between the Government and minority parties

Torrealba, who has assumed the position of coordinator of the ruling party, explained that “the Bloque de la Patria comes to the National Assembly to meet the people for peace.” “We are here to rescue the spaces of dialogue, to help the reinstitutionalization of this power that destroyed most of the right,” he said.

The 'chavistas' have been received with great expectation from their fellow opponents, some of whom have picked up the moment with their mobile phones. However, the first controversy has not been slow to arise because some have refused to reinstate as deputies those who already hold other public office, a decision that the officials wanted to leave in the hands of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ).

The president of the National Assembly and self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, has considered that, “implicitly, the return of the 'Chavista' deputies is a clear recognition” to both Parliament and himself.

The return of the ruling party to the legislative headquarters is due to the agreement reached on September 16 between the Government of Maduro and four parties to undertake a new dialogue, which already included concrete pacts such as the return of the 'chavistas' to the National Assembly, the renovation of the National Electoral Council (CNE) and the release of political prisoners.

This agreement has been rejected by Guaidó, which brings together the majority of the Venezuelan opposition, because it considers it a Maduro political maneuver so as not to have to accept the proposal made in the Oslo and Barbados process, to go through a transitional government in which neither are present to guide the country to a “real” presidential election, revive the economy and access to humanitarian aid.

The opposition leader has given the dialogue that took place between May and August in Oslo and Barbados as “exhausted”, but has clarified that the offer he made then to Maduro is still valid, challenging the Venezuelan president to explain why he does not accept what it would be a “real solution” to the political, economic and humanitarian crisis that is dragging the Caribbean nation.

The Venezuelan opposition, meeting at the Bureau of Democratic Unity (MUD), achieved a historic victory in the 2015 parliamentary elections that resulted in a 'super majority' of 112 deputies that allowed it to control and renew the highest state authorities, including the Government of Maduro.

The electoral triumph of three deputies of the Venezuelan state of Amazonas was challenged by the Supreme Court of Justice for alleged fraud. After months of controversy, they finally gave up their seats to prevent the opposition coalition from losing the 'super majority'.

However, the TSJ declared the National Assembly in “contempt” and maintained its decision despite the final departure of the three Amazonian deputies. In line with the judicial resolution, the 'Chavista' parliamentarians left the legislative headquarters in 2017, although some were later reinstated as dissidents.

The institutional crisis was consolidated that same year with the installation of a Constituent Assembly at the proposal of Maduro that is composed exclusively of 'chavistas' because the MUD decided not to participate in those elections because it considered that the call and the purpose of it were illegitimate.

Since then, opposition and 'chavismo' remained separated and confronted in the National Assembly and in the Constituent Assembly, which paradoxically coexist in the same building, the Legislative Palace of Caracas. Parliament has continued to legislate but its acts have been declared void by the TSJ and, therefore, the Government has not recognized them either.

Guaidó called himself “president in charge” of Venezuela on January 23, precisely, as president of the National Assembly, a position he assumed that same month in accordance with the rules of internal rotation of the MUD, which awarded the position to Popular Will (VP), his political party.

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