CARACAS – The head of the Venezuelan Parliament, opposition lawmaker Julio Borges, said on Tuesday that armed civilian groups attacked the legislative seat after a clash between several lawmakers and members of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), Venezuela’s militarized police, inside the institution.
The clash left at least two female members of parliament injured, Borges told reporters.
According to the National Assembly’s Twitter account, opposition lawmaker Delsa Solorzano and several reporters were among the injured who, the institution said, were attacked by members of the GNB.
“Different lawmakers and Assembly personnel saw (GNB) officers entering (the building) with boxes from the National Election Council ... and a clash occurred there between the GNB officers and the lawmakers,” Borges said, adding that two “female lawmakers” were attacked by the police officers.
As a result, the parliamentary session was interrupted and Borges proceeded to talk with the colonel responsible for the institution’s security in order to resolve the conflict, but “immediately,” he said, groups of civilians entered the door.
These people launched fireworks rockets and other artifacts into the Parliament, according to some videos published on social media.
According to the opposition, this group of civilians have attacked the front of the building and threatened to enter “by force.”
Lawmakers and workers currently remain locked inside the Parliament, the Chamber’s press chief Alicia de La Rosa told EFE.
For Borges, what happened “today is called Nicolas Maduro. That same Nicolas Maduro who said today that if the ballots are no use, then the violence will be, that if the ballots are no use, then the bullets will be.”
Borges also said that what happened will give “more strength” to parliamentarians to continue fighting for “a democratic and free country.”
Regarding the boxes from the National Election Council, he indicated that the lawmakers went to see what happened with them, since it is “irregular” to keep such contents in the Legislative.
However, the GNB forces did not allow the parliamentarians to have access to the boxes, Borges said, adding that the troops claimed that the boxes contain data on the validation of political parties.
Venezuela has been facing socio-political upheavals which have been exacerbated by waves of demonstrations, both against and in favor of the government, for three months.
Some of these demonstrations have become violent, leaving so far at least 75 people dead and about 1,500 injured, according to data from Venezuela’s Prosecutor General’s Office.