(Caracas, January 5th, 2020) The Venezuelan Program of Education-Action on Human Rights (PROVEA) does not recognize the alleged Board of Directors of the National Assembly, imposed by Maduro’s dictatorship and set unconstitutionally on the January 5th, 2020. In PROVEA’s opinion, with this event, Maduro completes the coup that began in January of 2019, when, after an openly fraudulent election process, he became the self-proclaimed president for a period of six years.

In a notorious and communicational event, Nicolas Maduro’s regime imposed a directive on the country’s National Assembly, violating the Constitution and the norms which the parliament stands by. During the session that was meant to mark the beginning of the parliamentary process for the year 2020, where the main objective was the election of the board of directors, the National Bolivarian Guard (GNB) took control of the premises where the parliamentary session was to take place and prevented the entrance of the National Assembly’s President Juan Guaidó and other representatives. Afterwards, with the support of the military forces and without the necessary quorum to hold the voting procedure or session in itself, a board was chosen in an irregular manner. Its members include Luis Parra as president, Franklin Duarte as first vice-president, José Gregorio Noriega as second vice-president, and Negal Morales as chamber secretary. This arbitrary action is the continuation of a series of operations against the only legitimate public power currently present in Venezuela and, hence, against the people’s will.

Maduro and his elite group of supporters have unleashed a policy based on persecution and harassment against the legislators chosen by the people in 2015. Since the moment the political opposition assumed the majority in parliament, the dictatorship has devoted itself to the creation of obstacles and interventions against the parliament, as well as taking an aggressive stance by imprisoning deputies and forcing over 20 others into exile.

Article 25 of the Constitution states that any act committed under the pretense of public powers that violates or undermines the rights guaranteed by the Constitution automatically nullifies said act. Thus, the Board of Directors introduced today by the dictatorship has no legitimacy nor legality.

PROVEA continues to promote the need for a peaceful, constitutional, and democratic solution to the country’s crisis. The arbitrary way the regime has acted today makes this alternative even harder to achieve and can potentially result in an outcome not predicted by the Carta Magna, which obstructs the work being done by international organizations such as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Maduro must be held accountable for the way he has been directing the government, promoting violence and confrontation throughout the country, rather than diplomacy.

We request that the international community and the democratic institutions worldwide, condemn this new assault against the Venezuelan institutions and ratify the need for a solution to the Venezuelan crisis that does not increase the people’s suffering, but instead contributes to the reinstatement of Venezuelan democratic institutions and the guarantee of human rights.

We ratify our commitment to fight for the restoration of democracy and the beginning of a reconstruction process for the country, which includes all sectors of the nation.

The Venezuelan Program of Education-Action on Human Rights (PROVEA)


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