Conflicts & War

Prominent Guaidó ally, Maduro critic detained in Venezuela

Caracas, Jul 13 (EFE).- Venezuelan intelligence agents detained a close political ally of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó just as president Nicolás Maduro sat for talks with a small group of opponents to promote national dialogue.

Members of the intelligence service, wearing hoods, arrested Freddy Guevara, 35, as he drove down a Caracas highway on Monday.

The attorney general, Tarek Saab, said Guevara would be charged with terrorism and treason for his alleged connections to Colombian-linked paramilitaries and “extremist” groups.

Guevara broadcast his arrest on social media.

At the same time, the wife of Guaidó, Fabiana Rosales, tweeted that police had arrived at the couple’s residence to arrest the Maduro-critic and self-proclaimed interim president.

Guaidó told local press that the presence of his neighbors and journalists scuppered the operation.

The opposition figure attempted to flee the scene in his car, which was surrounded by security agents, CCTV footage from his residence showed.

“There is no arrest order,” Guaidó said after the incident. “What they did was hostage-taking, threats. They threatened me with firearms, in a residential building where my and my family live,” he added.

Freddy Guevera sought refuge in the Chilean embassy in Caracas in 2017 to avoid charges of instigating violence during protests.

Those charges were pardoned in 2019.

Guaidó proclaimed himself interim president of Venezuela in 2019 after elections he and his political allies alleged were fraudulent.

He was recognized by the United States, much of the European Union and the United Kingdom.

As the attorney general confirmed Guevara’s arrest, Maduro sat down for a public meeting with a minority opposition group. He did not mention Guevara by name, but said he had proof that elements of the “far-right” in Venezuela had been involved in the recent violent clashes between gangs and police in Caracas.EFE


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