So long to Hugo Chavez posters in Venezuela assembly

Images of Hugo Chavez removed from National Assembly
Images of Hugo Chavez removed from National Assembly


    Images of Hugo Chavez removed from National Assembly


Images of Hugo Chavez removed from National Assembly 02:59

Story highlights

  • Opposition makes challenges to Venezuelan President Maduro
  • Chavez posters are removed in Assembly

(CNN)Venezuelan National Assembly President Henry Ramos Allup is cleaning house, as the country's opposition takes control of the legislative palace for the first time in 17 years. The first thing to go? Giant posters of the late President Hugo Chavez.

An amateur video released this week captured Allup saying he "didn't want to see Maduro or Chavez" as he directed workers wheeling out the large wooden panels where various images of Chavez were plastered, adding "take that junk to Miraflores (Venezuela's presidential palace) or to the garbage."
Allup also got rid of the 3D portraits of Simon Bolivar, Venezuela's national hero, which had been re-created in 2012 based on the bones that had been exhumed during Chavez' presidency.
    "I don't want to see any portrait that is not the classic image of the Libertador,'" Allup said.
    The video stirred a fervent reaction from current president and Chavez protégé Nicolas Maduro, who said he was "outraged" during a nationally televised speech Wednesday and accused Allup and the opposition of being "neo-fascists, anti-Bolivarian and anti-patriotic."
    On Thursday, Maduro held an event from the Mountain Barracks which house Chavez' remains and qualified the removal of the pictures as the most "grave violation to Bolivar's memory in 200 years."
    The removed pictures were taken to a public square in the city center with a National Guard security detail, while hundreds of supporters of the socialist government protested the removals.
    Online, the Twitter hashtag #esenoesbolivar ("that is not Bolivar") went viral accompanied by photos and memes showing both the 19th-century independence leader and Chavez.
    The opposition took control of the National Assembly after winning 112 of the 167 up for election on December 6. It is the first time the group takes control of the legislative body since Chavez was elected in 1998.
    Venezuela faces one of its worst economic recessions in history and a rise in unemployment and insecurity. In addition to changing laws that would free jailed opposition leaders, the new Assembly leaders have vowed to remove Maduro from office within the next six months.
    Maduro, who was elected by a slim margin in 2013 following Chavez' death, has limited the powers of the Assembly by eliminating their ability to nominate or remove central bank directors.
    Maduro is expected to deliver his State of the Union address next week, during which he is scheduled to announce a new fiscal plan for the country.