[The most interesting aspect of this, beyond the shocking nature of these crimes, are the Twitter videos (linked in article) which are emerging. The gangs tactics and fighting looks identical to Antifa in the U.S. It must be the new Modus Operandi of the socialist/communist movement]
Socialist chavista gangs known as “colectivos” stormed Venezuela’s National Assembly Wednesday – the nation’s Independence Day – and kept hundreds of legislators and journalists hostage for eight hours, according to people who were later released.
Gang members also savagely beat legislators and protesters, staining the walls of the national legislator with blood and sending multiple lawmakers to the hospital.
The government of dictator Nicolás Maduro accused the victims of the violence of attempting to “murder” chavistas in a state television report.
Before the siege began, vice president and U.S.-designated “drug kingpin” Tareck El Aissami organized an event to commemorate Independence Day at the nearby Federal Legislative Palace, where he issued remarks calling for a second independence “against the Yankee imperialists” and said the National Assembly had “been hijacked by the same oligarchy that betrayed [Venezuelan founding father Simón] Bolívar.”
Shortly after that speech, colectivos stormed the building, beating opposition members with pipes, shooting at them, and robbing anyone trying to escape the building. According to the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional, more than 350 people were trapped in the legislative capitol building, including “108 journalists, 120 workers, 94 lawmakers, musicians present to play the national anthem, and special guests.” In addition to shooting at, hurling stones at, and beating lawmakers, the colectivos detonated fireworks inside the building, injuring dozens.
The National Assembly published graphic photos of the attack on its Twitter account:
#5Jul vea en imágenes el #AsaltoDelGobALaAN pic.twitter.com/aMjIeF7PoL
— Asamblea Nacional (@AsambleaVE) July 5, 2017
La Patilla reported that the siege appeared to begin around 11 a.m. local time, and opposition authorities announced at 7:30 p.m. that “most” of those trapped inside had finally been freed. While trapped, some legislators posted videos on social media urging international human rights activists and free nations to act on their behalf.
#Urgente un mensaje al mundo. Los diputados de la @AsambleaVE estamos secuestrados. #5Jul pic.twitter.com/mMaVi7en5M
— Rosmit Mantilla (@rosmitm) July 5, 2017
Socialist thugs violently attacked those outside, as well. Videos on social media show lawmakers forced to brawl with these thugs to defend themselves from a gang beating:
VIDEO | Diputados Franco Casella y Simón Calzadilla se enfrentaron a paramilitares chavistas y frenaron asalto al Parlamento #5Jul pic.twitter.com/6hgbZBuPYX— Alberto Rodríguez (@AlbertoRT51) July 5, 2017
Once released, those taken hostage said they witnessed multiple assaults and robberies of individuals who attempted to break through the mob of attackers to leave the building. Witnesses said the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), responsible for the security of the building, was “indifferent” in the face of the attack. In contrast, GNB soldiers have beaten, shot, and run over unarmed protesters with armored tanks in the past three months.
Julio Borges, the opposition president of the National Assembly, was among those taken hostage by the mob. He estimated the assault took more than seven hours and declared Maduro personally responsible for the violence. “Nicolás Maduro is the violence in Venezuela, the people who came today to interrupt here are the clear demonstration of a violent Venezuela,” he told reporters. “The government uses force to repress the country, that is the regime’s calling card, but nothing and nobody will deter the will of the people.”
On Thursday, Borges, whom colectivos publicly beat, breaking his nose, in 2016, warned that similar incidents would continue to occur under this regime. “It is clear that the episode that occurred at the National Assembly yesterday is part of the politics of fear and violence of a cornered Nicolás Maduro,” he told reporters. He confirmed at least seven injuries among lawmakers: Representatives Américo De Grazia, Armando Armas, Luis Padilla, José Regnault, and Nora Bracho.
Opposition leader Lilian Tintori – whose husband, opposition party leader Leopoldo López, is serving a 14-year prison sentence for organizing peaceful rallies in 2013 – posted graphic photos of the legislators most gravely injured, many bleeding from the face and head:
Alertamos a la Comunidad Internacional de la agresión a los diputados, golpeados por paramilitares de Maduro dentro del Poder Legislativo. pic.twitter.com/BwQkfLkGRd— Lilian Tintori (@liliantintori) July 5, 2017
Terrorismo de Estado en Venezuela: la dictadura de Maduro ataca el Poder Legislativo. Agreden a diputados demócratas dentro del Parlamento. pic.twitter.com/NVRZZQiqUC— Lilian Tintori (@liliantintori) July 5, 2017
The American State Department issued a statement condemning the attack and demanding Maduro’s government prevent such incidents. “This violence, perpetrated during the celebration of Venezuela’s independence, is an assault on the democratic principles cherished by the men and women who struggled for Venezuela’s independence 206 years ago today,” the State Department affirmed. “We call on the Venezuelan government to immediately provide for the protection of the National Assembly, ensure those injured in today’s attack are able to receive medical attention, and bring the attackers to justice. We urge all sides in Venezuela to refrain from violence.”
“The United States deplores the Venezuelan government’s increasing authoritarianism, and the convocation of a National Constituent Assembly designed to undermine Venezuela’s democratic institutions, including the National Assembly,” the statement continued.
Despite the fact that the violent attackers involved were government supporters, the state-run VTV broadcast outlet blamed the incident on “the right wing.” In an article titled “Just as It Did During the Fourth Republic, the Right Wing Attempted to Murder Youth at National Assembly This July 5,” VTV quotes National Assembly socialist leader Diosdado Cabello accusing opposition “terrorists” of setting off explosives in the building, without providing evidence.
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