Three Venezuelan migrants living in Trinidad have weighed in on the latest political crisis in their homeland where National Assembly head and self-proclaimed interim President, Juan Guaidó, was prevented by State police from entering the Assembly on Sunday to participate in a voting process to elect a new legislative council.
Heidi Diquez said Sunday's scenes in Caracas showed that the Nicolás Maduro regime continues to trample on the rule of law and sink the Constitution even deeper into a sea of irrelevance.
"What happened on Sunday demonstrates once more that Maduro clings to power by pressing and using military forces against the population," Diquez said.
She said that thanks to social media networks, Venezuelans in TT and across the world could witnesses how Maduro led the order to the National Guard to block access to the main Opposition parliamentarians, including "provisional president" Guaidó. "In 2020, Venezuela will continue to advance in the restoration of our democracy and rule of law," she added.
Another migrant, Carlos Suárez said that Guaidó has already established a power for the search for democratic freedom of Venezuela. "It must be Guaidó, it has to be. There's no other, he is the one who has the work done, any other people and it would have to start all over again," Suárez said.
"Who will they put? As President of the National Assembly, he is also President of our country," said 56-year-old Suárez who lives in San Fernando.
For his part, José Ponte said the Venezuelan opposition is a group divided. "The opposition is very divided among themselves, with some denouncing themselves so as to receive money from Maduro. We have to wait to see what will happen now. Anything can be expected from these politicians, they pass invoices," said Ponte, who came to TT six months ago.
The National Assembly is the only one of the five public powers in Venezuela to be in the hands of the opposition. Guaidó is recognized by the heads of at least 56 countries as the interim President and he has the support of the international community for his re-election of the Assembly.
The Trinidad and Tobago government has backed Maduro who shares cordial relations with TT Prime Minister Dr Rowley with both visiting each other's country within the recent past.
The United States, a close ally of TT, is one of the countries which openly support Guaidó while labelling Maduro as a dictator and an illegitimate ruler. US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, congratulated Guaidó in a statement on his eventual re-election and slammed Maduro for the actions of the National Guard on Sunday.
Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, also reiterated his support for Guaidó. Analysts believe that the events of Sunday did not help improve the image of the Maduro government. Political scientist of the Central University of Venezuela, Felix Seijas, said Maduro suffered a severe reverse in exposing himself as "an authoritative figure."
"Guaidó, he did the right thing by calling for a session of the National Assembly elsewhere and counting on the quorum established by law. The assembly are their deputies and their regulations," Seijas said.
Luis Salamanca, professor of the Central University of Venezuela said, "at the end of the day, the image that remains in the mind of everyone will be that of Guaidó attempting to cross the classroom of the National Assembly."