Venezuela’s new National Assembly takes office today

The inauguration of the new congress marks the end of the body’s submission to the US imperialism and the return of the revolutionary legacy of Simón Bolívar and Hugo Chávez

January 05, 2021 by Peoples Dispatch
Venezuela's New Legislative Assembly was sworn in on January 5, 2021. Photo: Cancillería

Venezuela’s new National Assembly (AN), now controlled by Chavismo, was officially sworn in today, on January 5. The investiture of the new legislative body marks the end of submission to the US imperialism and the return of the legacy of revolutionary leaders, Liberator Simón Bolívar and Commander Hugo Chávez.

The Great Patriotic Pole (GPP), led by the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and other Chavista forces, holds a majority in the new National Assembly, elected for the period 2021-2026. The GPP won a resounding victory in the parliamentary elections held on December 6, 2020, and secured 257 of the 277 seats in the country’s unicameral parliament.

With the inauguration of the new congress, the people of Venezuela will recover its parliament and legislative independence. For the past five years, under the dominance of right-wing parties, the legislative body was used as a tool in attempts to overthrow the democratically elected government of socialist president Nicolás Maduro.

The swearing-in ceremony began at 11 am and was held at the headquarters of the National Assembly in the capital Caracas, with all the sanitary measures in place against COVID-19. Presidents and heads of state from across the world joined the ceremony. Representatives of various social organizations from across Latin America were also present at the event.

Ahead of the ceremony, paintings of Bolívar and Chávez were returned to the parliament’s hemicycle, after being removed in 2015, following the victory of the right-wing forces in the then elections.

Challenges for the new National Assembly

The new National Assembly faces a number of challenges such as the restoration of economic, institutional, political and social stability in the country. It has a great responsibility of drafting and enacting laws that can confront the economic crisis generated by numerous unilateral coercive measures imposed by the United States on Venezuela.

President Nicolás Maduro, in a meeting on January 4, asked the newly elected deputies of the GPP to focus on promoting political dialogue, reconciliation, coexistence and inclusion in the country’s economy.

“We have to move on to real growth of the economy and for that it is necessary for the national assembly to open the door to all the proposals and turn them into laws,” stressed president Maduro.

Deputy and former minister of communications, Jorge Rodríguez, also stressed that “we, the deputies, have a great responsibility granted by the people on December 6, when they told us that we must rescue this branch of power that has been attacked during these last 5 years.”

In the meeting, elected deputy and the vice president of the PSUV, Diosdado Cabello, announced that the GPP bloc, called the ‘Bloque de la Patria’ in the AN, nominated elected parliamentarians Jorge Rodríguez, Iris Varela, Didalco Bolívar, Rsalba Gil and Inti Hinojosa as president, first vice president, second vice president, secretary and assistant secretary, respectively of the legislative body. In addition, the GPP proposed that Cabello assume the leadership of the bloc in the parliament.

The proposed initiative must be approved by the majority of deputies and it will be presented and voted on today after the inauguration of the new congress.

Attack on National Electric System ahead of elections

In the early hours of today, Venezuelan government denounced an attack against the National Electric System (SEN) that left several sectors of Caracas and other states without electricity. Venezuelan vice president Delcy Rodríguez through her Twitter account informed about the sabotage attack.

“We suffered an attack against the National Electric Service on January 5, which affected the transmission system of the Guri plant and caused the loss of power in sectors of the capital city and other states of the country,” wrote vice president Delcy Rodríguez in a tweet.

In another tweet, the official indicated that the workers of the National Electric Corporation are working on the recovery of the service and added that the investigations aimed at determining the responsibilities have begun.

In March 2019, Venezuela faced a national electricity blackout lasting several days, and the government assured that it was the result of a cyber attack on the Simón Bolívar Hydroelectric Plant.