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COUP-PLOTTER Juan Guaido was branded “a dream that turned into a nightmare” as he was ousted as leader of Venezuela’s opposition in a chaotic vote in the National Assembly on Sunday.
He was replaced as the assembly’s speaker by former ally Luis Parra, who received 81 votes in the 167-member chamber.
President Nicolas Maduro said “opposition parliamentarians rose against” the US-backed right-winger, who declared himself the country’s interim president in January last year.
Speaking on state TV the Bolivarian leader recognised Mr Parra’s election as speaker.
“The National Assembly held a session in the parliament building in accordance with the constitution. A new leadership was elected, consisting of the opposition, with parliamentarian Luis Parra at the head,” Mr Maduro said.
Mr Guaido branded the move “a parliamentary coup,” claiming the assembly vote was invalid as the chamber had been inquorate. He said many parliamentarians, including himself, had been blocked from entering the building.
After about four hours Mr Guaido and about a dozen assembly members held their own session outside the opposition El Nacional newspaper, declaring him the rightful speaker.
He blasted on Twitter: “Those who help to prevent the legitimate installation of the Venezuelan parliament are converting themselves into accomplices of the dictatorship.”
Venezuela’s opposition remains bitterly divided after Mr Guaido’s repeated failures to oust Mr Maduro last year.
He was embroiled in a corruption scandal after it was exposed that his “envoys” had embezzled aid money supposedly raised to support military defectors in Colombia.
Despite the backing of Washington and other imperialist governments, Mr Guaido failed to win over the military and the people of Venezuela who remained loyal to the Bolivarian government.
Opposition parliamentarian Jose Brito poured scorn on Mr Guaido, accusing him of lying to the people of Venezuela.
“In 2019 … you were the hope of the country: today you are the biggest disappointment. You could have been be the future, but today you are and you will be the past. You were a dream turned into a nightmare — Juan Guaido, from today your time ended,” he said.
“Guaido lied to the country and to the international community, he also repeatedly denied to everyone that he was not in talks with Maduro and the truth is that you got up and ran back to your main international allies.”
It is expected that Mr Parra will also be nominated and elected as the new president of the Popular Will Party (AN).
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