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Government: Venezuela: More opposition employees arrested

Government: Venezuela: More opposition employees arrested

Venezuela’s government speaks of a conspiracy, the opposition of brutal repression. Ahead of the planned election, arrests of opponents of President Nicolás Maduro are increasing.

Around four months before the planned presidential election in authoritarian Venezuela, two more close associates of opposition leader María Corina Machado were arrested. In addition, arrest warrants were issued against seven other people from their team, as Attorney General Tarek William Saab announced. Among them is Machado’s campaign manager Magalli Meda. They are accused of conspiring to destabilize the South American country, he said.

The two arrested are Henry Alviarez, national coordinator of Machado’s Vente Venezuela (VV) party, and political secretary Dignora Hernández. Hours earlier, the UN mission for Venezuela said the country was experiencing a reactivation of the “most violent form of repression” by the authorities ahead of the July 28 elections. The government in Caracas rejected the allegations.

Machado condemned the arrests. They were based on lies. “The regime wants to close the path to change, the path to freedom, because they know they are defeated because they have no way of winning an election against us. This is a sign of great weakness,” she said. She accused the authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro of “brutal repression”.

Not the first time

Most recently, a regional manager from Machado’s campaign team was arrested on terrorism charges. The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, criticized the new arrests as “arbitrary” and called for an end to the persecution of Machado’s supporters.

Machado (56) was chosen by a large majority as the opposition candidate for the presidential election in internal primaries in October. However, she was banned from holding public office for 15 years because of alleged irregularities during her time as a member of parliament. At the end of January, the Supreme Court confirmed the decision. Machado still wants to challenge Maduro, who has ruled since 2013, in the election.

The oil country Venezuela has been in a serious political and economic crisis for years. The security forces are taking tough action against government opponents. The economy of the once prosperous country with rich oil reserves is suffering from mismanagement, corruption and sanctions. According to the UN, more than seven million people have left Venezuela in recent years because of poverty and violence.

Source: Stern

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