By Sergio Garcia Hernandez
BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) - Jose Brito, an opposition deputy who supported the election of Luis Parra as president of the opposition-led National Assembly of Venezuela, said he and others parliamentarians removed support for Juan Guaido because he was placed in a political “virtual” scenario that does not have political nor armed forces support.
The deputy said he is still part of the opposition and defends himself against accusations corruption to prevent the re-election of Guaido as president of the legislative Jan. 5, in a session Brito said had a quorum and left Parra as the winner.
AA: Why did some deputies, including Guaido, fail to enter the National Assembly for the election of the head of parliament?
JB: There is evidence that everyone, except Guaido, entered to the National Assembly when Parra’s election as the new president of this entity was given.
Guaido did not enter because it was part of a disastrous strategy. He did not have the necessary votes to win the election. He led deputies who were disabled by legal actions and even had a capture warrant to try to justify their entry into Parliament.
In the end, all the PMs, even those with a capture warrant, entered to the Assembly, except Guaido.
After 45 minutes of Parra's election, Guaido entered but not through the door, but trying to jump a fence. There he achieved what he was looking for.
AA: Did the election of Parra count with the quorum and the necessary votes?
JB: All the parliamentarians empowered to vote were in the seat of parliament and at the time that Parra was elected, by a majority, there was a quorum.
The quorum for that day was 84 parliamentarians and there were 150.
If Guaido had entered, the quorum would have been 151 and voting would have been 81 votes for Parra and 70 for Guaido.
AA: Did the opposition sector that removed its support for Guaido present evidence of the voting requested by the Supreme Court of Justice?
JB: A detailed report was prepared with all the required collections. Now, this is on the court that will have to study the case and will make a decision.
AA: Will the court's decisions be accomplished, even if the election of Parra is considered invalid?
JB: We do not fear that the ruling is unfavorable because of all the procedures were adjusted and grounded under the Constitution.
AA: Does Venezuela currently have two presidents of the National Assembly?
JB: There is only one parliament that is made up of 167 parliamentarians and there is a president and a new directive that is chaired by Parra.
It is a parliament, not for confrontation, but for finding solutions of the serious problems that Venezuelans are experiencing.
AA: What are you and the opposition sector looking for after you took away support from Guaido?
JB: We propose the depolarization of this country, which has done a lot of damage. The confrontation has sown a very marked hatred in the population and has caused economic involution and has left wounded, detained and even dead people
We believe in the construction of an exit route for those who are now in the government, who will have the guarantee that there will be no abuse or retaliation on our part.
We want to overcome this crisis and become an alternative to Nicolas Maduro’s regime. We seek to create conditions to form a new National Electoral Council that guarantees equity, transparency, and balance.
AA: Which you recognize as president, Guaido or Maduro?
JB: To neither, because they are part of the country's disaster. Maduro is the cause of the social tragedy and Guaido said he is president when he is not.
We are working to pull Maduro from power by electoral means.
AA: Why did you remove your support to Guaido?
JB: We believe it is a great scam to tell the world that Guaido is the president in charge when no police or military man stands by his side. He lives in a virtual world, like Alice in Wonderland. We want to get out of there and come into reality to get Maduro out of power.
We don’t support the proposal of the reelection of Guaido because he had become a scam to the hope of Venezuelans.
AA: You and other PM that do not support Guido are opponents?
JB: We are Venezuelans who reject the way in which the Maduro’s regime has been conducted.
We reject the political imprisonment in Venezuela and the conditions of the hospitals that are very poor. The economic situation is not the best. We definitely stay in the opposition field and from there we want to become an alternative.
AA: What do you say to the accusations of several deputies, including you and Parra, of corruption to prevent the election of in the Assembly?
JB: This deed that we have undertaken has been described as a rebellion of the regions. And some sectors have put a tourniquet in this rebellion because they have seen that we have a real option to put out Venezuela from the actual crisis.
The accusations are intended to damage our reputation and affect our morals. So those sectors believe they can stop us.
Despite the unfounded accusations, we continue working. There is a rebellion that has not only presented a proposal to the National Assembly, but has echoed in the election of Parra.
AA: How do you receive sanctions from the U.S. and other deputies identified as corrupt?
JB: They are actions promoted by a sector that refuses to die and that has done a lot of damage to national politics.
We are an opposition that we do not accept Russian or Chinese guardianships, nor American ones. We want the best relations with all countries based on the peace and progress of Venezuela.
We know that there will be soon a shift in the vision that the United States has about how to solve this deep crisis in Venezuela.
AA: How do you perceive the first year of the self-proclamation of Guaido, do you think Parra should follow a similar path?
JB: We must leave virtuality and enter into reality. We must speak clearly to Venezuela. We want to become a real government option to defeat Nicolas Maduro. It's time to get out of fantasy.
AA: What perception do you have about the management of humanitarian aid that entered Venezuela under the opposition leadership?
JB: Parra has urged USAID to investigate money management that authorities have given for humanitarian aid, which we estimate at more than $400 million.
There are sectors that claim to be opponents of Maduro, who unfortunately have turned the entry of humanitarian aid into a business.
*Maria Paula Trivino from Colombia contributed to this story