The National Assembly held a session today in which it reached a number of agreements, including formally declaring that Maduro has usurped the presidency. While the National Assembly had made its position clear on the lack of legitimacy of Maduro’s presidency, today’s declaration constitutes its formal statement of that fact.

During today’s session, the National Assembly also approved a law granting amnesty to any regime official who works to “restablish constitutional order” in the country. The law is aimed directly at helping any official, military or otherwise, make the decision to turn against the regime.

Deputy Angel Medina said that the amnesty law would help “break the fear” that some officials might have that, were the regime to fall, they might prosecuted for their role. He said:

This country needs all of us to rescue it. We need every official to join the people.

The National Assembly also approved a decree calling on dozens of countries around the world to immediately halt “any handling” of liquid assets belonging to regime officials. The document calls on the governments of Russia, Turkey, the European Union, the United States and others to heed its request.

During the session, National Assembly president Juan Guaido spoke about the Maduro regime’s abject failure of governance, saying:

There is no government. They cannot solve any of the problems that they created. They made a mockery of Venezuela’s future because they don’t want it, so instead we are here building a future in parliament.

Trump Considers Recognizing Guaido as President

CNN en Espanol reported today that U.S. president Donald Trump is considering formally recognizing Juan Guaido as the president of Venezuela. The news comes just days after Guaido invoked the constitution to name himself interim President of the Republic pending new elections, the date of which have not been proposed.

Guaido’s declaration was largely symbolic, given the fact that the Maduro regime still has control of the executive and legislative branches of government, as well as the military. However, international recognition would give Guaido more legitimacy on the world stage, and might force banking institutions to think twice before making any deals with the regime.

“Battle of El Junquito” Marks One Year Anniversary

One year ago today, regime forces located renegade police officer Oscar Perez and his companions in a safehouse in El Junquito, a municipality located just west of Caracas. Perez had been on the national spotlight for approximately six months, after hijacking a police helicopter in Caracas in June 2017 in an attempt to start a civil insurrection against the Maduro regime.

On January 15 of last year, Perez and six of his companions were killed in a prolonged confrontation with regime forces. All of the available evidence suggests that they were executed while attempting to surrender.

The National Assembly held a minute of silence during its session today to mark the anniversary:

I wrote a comprehensive outline of the events of January 15 for Bellingcat along with Aliaume Leroy. You can find that article here in English and in Spanish.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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