The arrest of self-appointed ‘interim’ president of Venezuela Juan Guaido’s uncle on explosives smuggling fees has been spun as a ‘kidnapping’ – and even ‘revenge’ for Guaido’s State of the Union stunt – by credulous MSM.
Juan José Marquez, uncle to thrice-failed coup chief Guaido, was arrested on Tuesday after returning to Caracas from Lisbon, the place he had been accompanying his relative on a world tour to shore up help for the latter’s flagging efforts to depose Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
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Whereas Marquez was charged with smuggling “harmful supplies” – a stash of C4 explosives hid in flashlight batteries and fragrance capsules – into the nation, sympathetic media have lined up behind Guaido’s rationalization for the arrest. Marquez, Guaido insisted, had been “forcibly disappeared by the dictatorship” in a “cowardly transfer” meant to intimidate the wannabe chief.
Vice President Diosdado Cabello poured chilly water on that concept. “He is detained, not forcibly disappeared, he is detained for bringing prohibited substances onto a flight,” the statesman defined on his Wednesday night time TV program, exhibiting images of the explosives and a bulletproof vest – additionally contraband – allegedly taken off Marquez after he went by means of immigration management at Caracas airport. The supposedly apolitical uncle, whose spouse insisted he was an airplane pilot who merely accompanied Guaido for cover, was additionally in possession of an digital file with details about “operations in opposition to Venezuela” and speak to info for a US secret service agent, Cabello mentioned.
Maduro’s second-in-command additionally confirmed a picture of Guaido’s ID card minimize up, explaining it had been confiscated on the airport upon his return to Caracas. Guaido launched into his three-week ‘final likelihood’ tour in violation of a journey ban positioned upon him by the federal government, whose guarantees to deliver him to justice upon his return triggered warnings of a “swift” – presumably navy – “response” from the US authorities. Whereas pleasant media at first claimed Guaido was embraced by supporters as he arrived on the airport, later tales admitted he was really met by an enraged group who threw issues at him, denouncing the US-imposed sanctions which have produced dire shortages of wanted provides – although that group was framed as a “pro-government mob,” and even organized by “the Maduro regime.” Guaido has defended the sanctions and warned there can be extra to return.
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The US-backed would-be president’s use of the phrase “disappeared” to elicit sympathy from his allies in Latin America and past rings as significantly cynical on condition that one among his chief allies within the US, particular envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams, was deeply concerned in most of the US-backed navy dictatorships that ‘disappeared’ hundreds of political dissidents, union leaders, and different inconvenient people within the 1980s. Abrams has threatened not solely Maduro, however any overseas nation that continues to do enterprise together with his authorities, with extreme repercussions together with (however presumably not restricted to, given his historical past) sanctions. Marquez’s trial started on Wednesday night time and he’s being represented by personal attorneys, in accordance with opposition lawmaker Delsa Solorzano – courtesies not prolonged the victims of regimes of a long time previous.
Guaido was one of many visitors of honor at US President Donald Trump’s State of the Union handle final month, and a few significantly anti-Maduro US media even recommended Marquez’s arrest was “revenge” for the cringeworthy stunt. Regardless of his enthusiastic help within the Trump administration, nonetheless, Guaido’s base in Venezuela has dwindled, with even the anti-Maduro Nationwide Meeting electing a brand new chief final month.
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