Home » Venezuela: Chavismo intensifies repression through arrests and persecution of opponents – Venezuela – International

Venezuela: Chavismo intensifies repression through arrests and persecution of opponents – Venezuela – International

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Venezuela: Chavismo intensifies repression through arrests and persecution of opponents – Venezuela – International

34 Detained on Charges of Treason and Terrorism in Venezuela

At least 34 people have been detained in Venezuela in 2024, accused of treason and terrorism. The charges are related to an alleged conspiracy to assassinate President Nicolás Maduro and Minister of Defense, Vladimir Padrino López, as well as other government officials. The most recent detainees are human rights activist Rocío San Miguel and her ex-partner, Alejandro González de Canales, a retired military officer.

San Miguel, an expert on military, security, and defense issues, was detained last Friday at the Maiquetía airport in Caracas and is currently being held at the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin) of Helicoide in the country’s capital. González de Canales is being held at the Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (Dgcim), also in Caracas.

However, it should be noted that these detention centers are designated as torture facilities, according to former detainees who were held in these cells. Despite this, the Attorney General of the Republic, Tarek William Saab, claims that the arrests were made within legal limits and do not represent a violation of human rights or forced disappearance.

San Miguel’s defense has refuted these claims, stating that the charges against her are false. Human rights organizations have also raised concerns over the escalating intimidation and discredit against defenders, especially towards women, and the increasing use of forced disappearance as a state mechanism.

International attention has been drawn to these recent arrests, with several countries calling for Maduro to comply with the Barbados agreement signed with the opposition and respect civil rights, as well as the release of political prisoners. The United States, the European Union, and other countries have also demanded that Maduro ensures free and fair elections in light of the human rights violations occurring in the country.

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The arbitrary arrests come at a time of heightened international tension, as the U.S. has threatened to reimpose sanctions on Venezuela’s energy sector if opposition candidates are prevented from participating freely in the upcoming elections. The recent detainments are considered a significant breach of the agreements reached in Barbados and could derail ongoing negotiations between the U.S. and Maduro administrations.

The situation is further complicated by the resignation of a key U.S. delegation member, which has now cast a shadow over any potential dialogue processes. As the political standoff intensifies, the U.S. asserts that Maduro still has time to change course and avoid further escalation.

It remains to be seen how the Venezuelan government will proceed as the international community closely watches the situation unfold.

ANA MARÍA RODRÍGUEZ BRAZÓN
TIME CORRESPONDENT
CARACAS

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