CARACAS, Venezuela, Tues. July 13, 2021 (Reuters) – Venezuelan prosecutors on Monday mentioned that they had charged opposition politician Freddy Guevara with terrorism and treason, amongst different allegations, after the nation’s intelligence service arrested him from his automotive on a Caracas freeway.
Guevara is a detailed ally of opposition chief Juan Guaido, who’s acknowledged because the South American nation’s legit president by the USA and others. Guaido mentioned unidentified armed males threatened him with arrest earlier on Monday as he left his condo in an effort to help Guevara.
In a press release, the chief prosecutor’s workplace mentioned it had sought an arrest warrant for Guevara as a result of his alleged “ties with extremist teams and paramilitaries related to the Colombian authorities.”
The incidents passed off as the federal government and opposition put together https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/exclusive-talks-between-venezuelan-govt-opposition-set-august-sources-2021-07-08 for negotiations deliberate for subsequent month in Mexico with mediation by Norway aimed toward resolving the South American nation’s deep political disaster, folks acquainted with the matter informed Reuters final week.
In an look on state tv on Monday, Maduro confirmed the negotiation plans however mentioned the opposition ought to resign violent ways forward of the talks. With out naming Guevara or Guaido, he mentioned he had proof some actors have been plotting coups and that prosecutors acted on the premise of that proof.
“I agree with the Mexico and Norway desk, however there should be situations, there should be an categorical renunciation of violent practices,” Maduro mentioned, including that the USA and European Union ought to raise sanctions on Venezuela earlier than the negotiations start.
The U.S.-backed opposition labels President Nicolas Maduro a dictator, alleging he rigged his 2018 re-election and makes use of the justice system to stifle dissent.
“We strongly condemn the arrest of Venezuelan Congressman Freddy Guevara and threats in opposition to Interim President Juan Guaido in Venezuela,” Julie Chung, Performing Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Division of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, wrote on Twitter.
She urged the worldwide neighborhood to hitch in condemning the acts and known as for the discharge of all political prisoners in Venezuela.
Maduro, who retains the assist of the army, denies that the election was rigged, has labeled Guaido a U.S. puppet and has accused him of conspiring to oust him in a coup.
A spokesperson for Guaido’s workplace mentioned Guevara, who was pardoned lower than a yr in the past on 2017 prices of instigating violence, was taken to the Sebin intelligence service’s Helicoide jail in Caracas. The prosecutor’s workplace didn’t specify the place he was being held.
Reporters arrived outdoors Guaido’s residence in jap Caracas minutes after his spouse, Fabiana Rosales, tweeted that safety forces had entered their condo constructing in an try to arrest Guaido.
Neighbors had gathered in protest round two white, unmarked vehicles wherein sat males bearing bulletproof vests and assault rifles, some in balaclavas, in keeping with a Reuters witness. Others wore hats that mentioned DIE – the Spanish acronym for the Directorate of Intelligence and Technique police unit.
“Dictatorship!” among the neighbors yelled on the males. Others leaned out close by home windows banging on pots and pans.
Shortly afterwards, an unmarked grey Toyota truck crammed with police raced out of the storage within the basement, leaving the residential complicated. Minutes later, Guaido emerged from an SUV.
Guaido informed the reporters gathered outdoors the constructing that the lads had left, and mentioned it was unclear which department of the safety forces that they had belonged to.
“They intercepted us and pointed their weapons at us, within the basement,” Guaido informed reporters.
Guaido’s workplace circulated two movies which they mentioned confirmed the incident in Guaido’s basement. The movies present not less than two males with bulletproof vests and balaclavas approaching a automotive, pointing assault rifles. Guaido is sat within the passenger seat. One of many males opens the driving force’s door and forces the driving force onto the bottom, yelling “Get out!,” the movies present.
Venezuela’s info ministry didn’t reply to a request for remark.
(Reporting by Vivian Sequera and Sarah Kinosian; writing by Luc Cohen and Sarah Kinosian; modifying by Rosalba O’Brien and Richard Pullin)