Luis Parra

Luis Parra
Luis Parra.png
President of the National Assembly of Venezuela
Assumed office
5 January 2020
Disputed with Juan Guaid贸
Preceded by Juan Guaid贸
Personal details
Born
Luis Eduardo Parra Rivero

(1978-07-07) 7 July 1978 (age 42)
Independencia Municipality, Yaracuy, Venezuela
Political party Independent (2019鈥損resent)
Justice First (until 2019)

Luis Eduardo Parra Rivero (born 7 July 1978) is a Venezuelan politician who is in a dispute with Juan Guaid贸 over who is the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela based on a vote on 5 January 2020, which has international implications: Juan Guaid贸's claim as acting President of Venezuela is based on being President of the National Assembly of Venezuela.[1][2]

Political career

CLAP affair

On 1 December 2019, the website Armando.info published an investigation reporting that nine parliamentarians mediated in favor of two businessmen linked with the government. Parra was accused of being involved in corruption with the Local Committees for Supply and Production (CLAP) program of the Nicol谩s Maduro government.[3] Parra has denied the accusations.[3] After the investigation was published, the deputies Parra, Jos茅 Brito, Conrado P茅rez and Jos茅 Gregorio Noriega were suspended and expelled from their parties Justice First and Popular Will.[4] Parra, Brito and P茅rez objected to their expulsion and filed a case before Venezuela's Supreme Tribunal of Justice, in which they petitioned the court to have their party membership reinstated.[5][6]

Parliamentary crisis

On 5 January 2020, the 2020 Venezuelan National Assembly Delegated Committee election took place to determine who would be the President of the National Assembly for the period 2020-21 period, the last election of the IV legislature.

On the morning of the election, Parra announced his candidacy to the presidency of the National Assembly by surprise, against the incumbent president Juan Guaid贸.[7] Parra鈥搘ho was previously barred from access to the legislative chambers鈥搘as granted access to the legislative palace while others of the opposition (to Maduro) were blocked at the entrance. Parra was joined by National Assembly deputies loyal to Maduro.[8] In a chaotic scene, a hand vote was hastily taken and Parra was declared president.[9] The opposition reported that quorum was not achieved and no votes were counted.[10] Police forces blocked the access to parliament to opposition members and media. A separate session was carried out outside parliament where 100 of the 167 deputies re-elected Juan Guaid贸 as president of the parliament.[10]

Parra told reporters 140 lawmakers were present in the session and that his candidacy was approved with 81 votes. Ruling party deputy Pedro Carre帽o told AFP that the vote took place with 150 deputies present and that Parra received the simple majority of 84 needed to win.[11] Nicol谩s Maduro recognized Parra as the new president of the National Assembly, saying that "there was a rebellion inside the National Assembly" and that "the National Assembly has made a decision".[12][13][14] Regarding the controversy of the opposition attempting to enter the Palacio Federal Legislativo, Maduro said "if the failed Guaid贸 did not want to enter it was because he did not have the votes", dismissing that Guaid贸 and his supporters were prevented from entering.[15] When reporters asked Parra for the official tally of votes鈥搖sually released the same day鈥揾e said that it "was not available" and there is not announced date for its release.[16]

Russia, one of Maduro's closest international allies has welcomed Parra's election. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the election contributes to the return of the intra-Venezuelan political struggle to the constitutional field that will find a peaceful exit to the ongoing crisis.[17] Opposition deputies denounced that Russia looked after supporting Parra to improve its businesses in Venezuela, including to increase the Russian shareholder participation in oil contracts and other mining concessions that need the approval of the National Assembly and that it would not have with Guaid贸.[18]

The Episcopal Conference of Venezuela rejected Luis Parra claim to the presidency of the National Assembly being "contrary to all constitutional legality", according to its presidency.[19] Days later, Luis Parra accompanied by armed forces tried to meet the organization, but he was denied entry. Parra and his allies announced that they would come back with "more reinforcement".[20]

The pro-Maduro Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) ruled in favor of Parra on 25 May 2020, recognizing him as the sole president of the National Assembly.[21]

The United States Department of the Treasury sanctioned Parra and other seven individuals, "who, at the bidding of Maduro, attempted to block the democratic process in Venezuela,鈥 according to US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin on 13 January 2020.[22] The sanctioned have their assets in the US frozen and are not allowed to do business with US financial markets nor with US citizens. The list also includes the other members of Parra's appointed board of directors: Franklyn Duarte, Jos茅 Goyo Noriega and Negal Morales.[22]

Hours later, Maduro's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza published a statement saying that the sanctions imposed by the US Treasury against Parra and others seek to "interfere and undermine the proper functioning of democratic institutions, with the unusual intention to designate from Washington the authorities of the legislative power". The statement also argues that these tactics are "contrary to international law and undermine the stability, peace and self-determination of the Venezuelan people".[23][24]

In June 2020, Luis Parra, Franklyn Duarte, Jose Gregorio Noriega, alongside other 8 individuals were sanctioned by the European Union after the Supreme Tribunal of Justice certified Parra as president of the National Assembly.[25]

References

  1. ^ Cohen, Corina Pons and Luc (6 January 2020). "Venezuela's ruling Socialists seize congress, defiant opposition re-elects Guaido". U.S. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Two Venezuela lawmakers declare themselves Speaker". 6 January 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b "驴Qui茅n es el diputado Luis Parra?". La Patilla (in Spanish). 5 January 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Venezuela: denuncian a siete diputados de corrupci贸n". Infobae. 20 December 2019. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  5. ^ "La disputa por el partido opositor Primero Justicia en Venezuela". www.aa.com.tr. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  6. ^ diarioelvistazo (17 January 2020). "Luis Parra, Jos茅 Brito y Conrado P茅rez piden al TSJ su restituci贸n en las filas de Primero Justicia". Diario El Vistazo (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  7. ^ Krygier, Rachelle; Faiola, Anthony (6 January 2020). "Venezuela's last democratic institution falls as Maduro attempts de facto takeover of National Assembly". The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  8. ^ "V谩ndalos accedieron a patadas hasta equipos de sonido de la AN para que Parra hablara (Video)". La Patilla (in Spanish). 5 January 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Golpe del r茅gimen de Maduro: Bloque贸 el ingreso de la oposici贸n a la AN e instal贸 a Luis Parra como su presidente". La Patilla (in Spanish). 5 January 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  10. ^ a b S谩nchez, Fabiola (5 January 2020). "Guaid贸 blocked from congress as Venezuelan conflict deepens". Associated Press. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Guaido and rival Perra both declare selves speaker of Venezuelan parliament". France 24. 5 January 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  12. ^ "Maduro reconoci贸 a Luis Parra como "presidente" de la Asamblea Nacional". La Patilla (in Spanish). 5 January 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Nicol谩s Maduro: 芦Hubo una rebeli贸n dentro de la Asamblea Nacional禄" (in Spanish). El Pitazo. 5 January 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Maduro insult贸 el criterio de los venezolanos y afirm贸 que "en la AN decidi贸 la oposici贸n"". La Patilla (in Spanish). 5 January 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Maduro insult贸 el criterio de los venezolanos y afirm贸 que "en la AN decidi贸 la oposici贸n"". La Patilla (in Spanish). 5 January 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  16. ^ Ellsworth, Brian (7 January 2020). "Little-known Venezuela legislator becomes Maduro's choice for opposition leader". Reuters. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  17. ^ Teslova, Elena (7 January 2020). "Russia praises election of Venezuelan parliament chief". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Rusia intenta negociar contratos petroleros con el parlamento controlado por Maduro". ABC (in Spanish). 11 January 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  19. ^ Flynn, J.D. (9 January 2020). "Venezuelan bishops denounce contested election of legislative speaker". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  20. ^ "Luis Parra trat贸 de reunirse con obispos de la Conferencia Episcopal Venezolana". El Nacional (in Spanish). 12 January 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  21. ^ "Supremo de Venezuela anula presidencia parlamentaria de Guaid贸". Deutsche Welle (in Spanish). 27 May 2020. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  22. ^ a b "U.S. targets Maduro-picked top legislator, six others in fresh Venezuelan sanctions". Reuters. 13 January 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  23. ^ Mart铆nez, Valent铆n Romero (13 January 2020). "Executive denounces "coercive" US measures against Venezuelan deputies". El Universal (Venezuela) (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  24. ^ "Venezuela denounces US claims to undermine the functioning of the National Assembly and its new directive". Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores (Venezuela) (in Spanish). 13 January 2020. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  25. ^ "Venezuela's Maduro orders EU envoy to leave following fresh sanctions". Reuters. 30 June 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.

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