ANC Delegate, Commune Leader Assassinated in Venezuela

Two Chavista leaders have been murdered in the past four days in what could prove to be a new round of political violence.


Philadelphia, January 11, 2018 ( – A delegate to Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC) was murdered in the western state of Trujillo on Wednesday.

Tomas Lucena, 31, was driving with his wife in a Chery pickup truck to collect his daughter from school at approximately 1:00pm when he was intercepted by two men on a motorcycle, who proceeded to open fire at the politician.

Lucena suffered six gunshot wounds and was immediately rushed to a local hospital, where he died shortly after.

A community youth leader and activist in the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Lucena was elected to the ANC last July as a territorial delegate representing his town of Escuque in Trujillo.

ANC President Delcy Rodriguez took to Twitter to condemn the killing immediately after the incident was made public.

“We repudiate the despicable murder of the ANC delegate for Trujillo, Tomas Lucena. We extend our condolences to his parents, wife, children, and friends,” she declared.

Lucena was commemorated by the National Constituent Assembly during its session in Caracas on Thursday.

Speaking at Miraflores Presidential Palace on Wednesday evening, Venezuelan Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez blamed “political hit men” for the killing and called for an investigation.

“We demand that the political hit men be investigated as a probable cause that took the life of this 31-year-old youth,” he declared.

Rodriguez claimed that the assassination was the latest in a “savage pattern” of right-wing political violence, which he said caused the death of other government officials in recent years, including public prosecutor Danilo Anderson in 2004 and socialist congressman Robert Serra in 2014.

The Attorney General’s office has opened an official investigation into the murder.

Lucena’s death came just three days after the killing of a commune youth leader in the southwest state of Barinas.

Elvis Alberto Moreno was reportedly killed in his home in the Agua Fria neighborhood of Bolivar municipality on Sunday, though no further details are yet known. He was an activist and parliamentarian in the Foot of the Mountain Socialist Agro-Tourist and Coffee-Growing Commune.

According to his fellow communards, Moreno was a skilled political organizer and thanks to his efforts, Chavismo won 86 percent of the votes in his community even at the time of the PSUV’s landslide parliamentary defeat in December 2015.

In a statement published on its Facebook page, the commune labeled the killing a political assassination by the right-wing and demanded an investigation.

“It is not mysterious nor strange that the right-wing is selectively exterminating the most valuable and efficient youth committed to the Revolution,” the grassroots organization warned.

To date, the Public Prosecution has yet to open an investigation into the killing, while no national political authorities have issued a public comment.