Posted: Nov 18, 2021 20:39 GMT
After the attack, which occurred in the lobby of a hotel, the head of the mission said that this was a “small incident”, while the Chavista leader Diosdado Cabello claimed that it was the product of power disputes.
A few days before the regional elections in Venezuela, the tension that tends to exist in a traditionally polarized country between the government’s proposal and the opposition seems to have shifted towards the opposition candidates, who even led to physical aggression in the presence of the head of the Observation Mission of the European Union (EU), which is located in the South American country.
In a video shared on the networks by the Venezuelan journalist Madelein García, it is observed when Raul Yusef, candidate of the opposition coalition Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) for the governor of Bolívar state, in the south of the country, slaps his contender Américo de Grazia, of the opposition party Ecological Movement.
After the slap, the struggle between the teams of both candidates continued. In the midst of shoving and shouting, those present tried to separate them and the insults of a woman could be heard shouting at de Grazia: “Wretched, how much did you receive from the Government?”
The attack occurred in the lobby of a hotel in the city of Puerto Ordaz, when de Grazia was responding to an invitation from the EU observer mission. Members of the European delegation witnessed what happened.
The head of the EU Mission, Isabel Santos, later interviewed by Telesur, described what happened as “little incident“in a” highly polarized electoral environment “, as happens” in many parts of the world. “
For his part, de Grazia, who was mayor of the Piar municipality (2000-2004), said that they were “occupational hazards” in a region where “violence has been cultivated in that way.”
The also former opposition member of parliament (2010 to 2020) considered that the attack against him was “an act of desperation.” “This is not a boxing ring and I am not here because of a boxer, but because of a politician,” he added.
In this regard, the first vice president of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Diosdado Cabello, affirmed that what happened between the two opposition candidates is not related to the polarization that has existed in the country for decades.
“We have nothing to do with that. It is a problem of the opposition. It has nothing to do with polarization in Venezuela, that is something else. This has to do with the ambitions of the power groups in the opposition, “he said on his television program ‘Con el mazo giving’.
Cabello disagreed with the statements of the head of the EU Mission and affirmed that if the aggression had occurred between candidates of Chavismo “already in the world news would be circulating saying that the barbarians of Chavismo attack the fallen angels.”
Last February, de Grazia was disqualified, along with 27 other deputies – including Juan Guaidó -, by the Comptroller’s Office from holding any public office after refusing to present an affidavit of assets after leaving his functions as a member of parliament. . Despite this, and the fact that he was not in Venezuela, he announced that he would participate in the regionals last April.
In May 2019, the defunct National Constituent Assembly waived de Grazia’s parliamentary immunity for his alleged participation in the bankrupt coup attempt of State led by parliamentarian Juan Guaidó, on April 30 of that year. However, in 2020 President Nicolás Maduro included him in a group of opposition politicians pardoned in the context of the dialogue and reconciliation process.
This Sunday, Venezuelans will vote to decide who will occupy 3,082 popularly elected offices in the country and with this a new panorama arises where a large sector of the opposition has put aside its position of boycott of the electoral processes, after the election of the ANC in 2017, and has decided to participate in the elections despite their internal struggles and vacillations.