“The National Assembly was the last political institution still in the opposition’s hands, and by seizing its leadership, President Nicolás Maduro’s supporters move closer to total control of the state.”
In a chaotic session in which security forces surrounded the National Assembly building, intimidating members of the opposition who tried to enter, supporters of Mr. Maduro blocked the re-election of Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader, as the body’s head, and named another legislator instead.
Members of the Venezuelan opposition immediately denounced the effort, calling it a “parliamentary coup d’état” and saying there had been no quorum to call the vote.
The Maduro administration’s plunges the country’s already turbulent political situation further into chaos, raising questions about who controls the assembly and whether Mr. Guaidó can continue to assert that he is the Venezuela’s interim president, in a direct challenge to Mr. Maduro.
Given that the Assembly was Venezuela’s last public institution enjoying anything like public approval, you have to wonder if Maduro has bitten off more than he can chew.