Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido was able to gain access to the National Assembly and take his place in the parliament speaker’s seat, Tuesday, January 7, after he was initially barred from entry.

READ MORE: Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido and his new rival, lawmaker Luis Parra, called for competing legislative sessions Tuesday after both claimed to be the country's parliamentary speaker.

On Sunday, Venezuelan security forces with riot shields blocked Guaido from entering the National Assembly chamber where he was expected to be re-elected head of the opposition-dominated legislature. Instead, Parra, who is backed by socialist leader Nicolas Maduro, proclaimed himself speaker after claiming to have been elected with 81 votes in the 167-member chamber. Guaido has the support of much of the international community.

Opposition lawmakers later re-elected Guaido in a hastily arranged session at the headquarters of El Nacional newspaper, the last remaining newspaper in Caracas critical of Maduro and his ruling Socialist Party. A tally showed that 100 of Parliament's 167 legislators voted for Guaido.


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