Pro-regime militias known in Venezuela as colectivos armados [literally “armed groups] launched an assault on the National Assembly building in Caracas today, destroying property on the legislature’s grounds and brutally beating opposition deputies.
Streaks of blood stained the halls of the National Assembly building as at least five opposition deputies and at least seven other workers were bloodied by the vicious crowd of Maduro supporters.
After storming the National Assembly’s outer gates, the colectivo rushed onto the legislature’s grounds and began destroying property, including vehicles. The video below shows the pandemonium that overtook the legislature grounds as the colectivo commenced its attack:
Below, evidence that one of the legislature’s doors was forced by the colectivos:
The video below shows opposition deputies and others fleeing in panic in the National Assembly chambers as the colectivo began its attack:
The images below show a opposition deputies who were beaten and bloodied during the attack. The injured opposition deputies were: Americo de Grazia, Armando Armas, Luis Padilla, Jose Regnault and Nora Bracho.
Deputy de Grazia appears to have been severely injured:
Deputy Armando Armas spoke after receiving medical care for his head injury, saying:
Almost 100 people have died because of this shit. A beating is nothing. There’s 20 of them outside, and 100 of us deputies in here. Let’s defend Venezuela. That’s why we were elected. No matter what the cost, we will continue our work. I am proud to represent the state of Anzoategui.
El Nacional has exclusive images of the attack here. La Patilla has its own set of exclusive images here.
Attack Began After Gate Left Unguarded
Cameras captured the moment that the attack inside the grounds of the National Assembly began.
Footage shared by NTN24 shows the colectivo simply opening a side gate and pouring onto the grounds. The gate was completely unguarded despite the presence of the crowd.
At the start of the video, a single National Guard soldier can be seen walking away from the direction of the gate, but it is not clear if he was tasked with guarding it.
Below, the video:
Woman Brutally Beaten Prior to Assault on Legislature
The video below was taken just outside of the National Assembly building, likely before the assault on the legislature began.
The video shows the same colectivo that attacked the National Assembly brutally beating a woman on the street:
Legislature Evacuated After 6 Hours Under Siege
After the attack ended, the colectivo retreated to just outside the gates of the legislature. It remained there for more than 6 hours, preventing the National Assembly deputies and workers from leaving the grounds:
At nearly 7:00 PM, the besieged occupants of the Assembly were finally able to leave the building under heavy National Guard presence.
The videos below show workers leaving the legislature grounds as the regime militia hurl insults and fireworks at them:
Maduro Vows to Investigate “Strange Happenings” at the National Assembly
Maduro reacted to today’s attack on the National Assembly by saying that he would order an investigation into the “strange events” that took place.
At the same time, Maduro appeared to blame the opposition for the attack on its own deputies, despite the clear and overwhelming evidence that the attack was carried out by pro-regime militias. Maduro said:
[These were] strange happenings. They’re always strange whenever the opposition is involved.
Maduro also criticized the opposition for allegedly “arming groups” of people to supposedly terrorize regime supporters.
I wish that the right wing would have a little bit of honour and peace [sic].
In typical contradictory fashion, Maduro also condemned violence in the most general terms without referring specifically to the attack on the National Assembly, saying:
Peace! I want peace in Venezuela. I don’t accept anyone’s violence. Let the world and the people know this (…) let there be an investigation, and let the truth come out.
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