Overnight Thursday, Venezuelan police arrested and detained three Guaido henchmen, two now released, the third still held.
Interior Minister Nestor Reverol accused Roberto Marrero of planning armed terrorist attacks in the country, saying the following:
An “investigation carried out by intelligence agencies together with the office of the prosecutor general…led to the detention of (Guaido henchman) Roberto Eugenio Marrero, 49, who is a lawyer and is directly responsible for the organization of criminal groups. A batch of weapons and cash money in foreign currency were seized from him.”
Roberto Eugenio Marrero Borgas and Luis Alberto Paez Salazar were also detained (later released) in the overnight raid, Reverol adding:
“Facing the failure of the entrance through our border of the so-called humanitarian aid last February 23, wanting to violate our sovereignty and facing the victory that the people of Venezuela gave against the electric attacks, these groups continue with their spiral of violence.”
Maduro “will continue fighting any demonstration and elements associated with organized crime to continue guaranteeing the peace of the people of Venezuela.”
The discovered “terrorist cell would have hired Colombian and Central American mercenaries to attack the lives of political leaders, military men, magistrates of the TSJ (Supreme Justice Court), and to carry out acts of sabotage to public services to create chaos in the Bolivarian society.”
According to Maduro, more arrests could follow, efforts underway to dismantle an anti-government “terrorist” network in the country.
During the overnight raid, assault rifles and grenades were discovered in the El Cafetal neighborhood of the Baruta municipality in the Metropolitan District of Caracas.
Guaido accused Venezuelan security forces of “planting” the seized weapons and “kidnapping” the detained individuals. Marrero alone remains in custody.
In early February, Venezuela’s Deputy Minister for Prevention and Citizen Security Endes Palencia said the country’s National Guard and National Integrated Service of Customs and Tax Administration (SENIAT) personnel seized 19 rifles, 118 rifle chargers, 4 rifle holders, 3 gun sights, 90 radio antennas, and 6 mobile telephones.
They were covertly flown from Miami to Valencia state’s Arturo Michelena International Airport – likely disguised as humanitarian aid, found at a storage facility, he explained.
The Venezuelan Prosecutor’s Office ordered an investigation to identify individuals responsible for trying to escalate violence in the country. Security was tightened at all entry points.
Longstanding US coup tactics include political, economic, financial and sanctions war, targeted assassinations, orchestrated street violence, establishment media-supported propaganda war, supplying coup plotters with weapons, and military intervention if all else fails.
Imperialism is all about seeking dominance over other nations, doing whatever it takes to achieve objectives extrajudicially.
In response to the overnight action, Bolton tweeted:
“Maduro has made another big mistake (sic). The illegitimate arrest (sic) of Roberto Marrero…Guaido’s aide, will not go unanswered. He should be released immediately and his safety guaranteed,” adding:
“…Trump says US has not yet imposed toughest sanctions on #Venezuela.”
Pompeo tweeted the following:
“The United States condemns raids by Maduro’s security services and detention of Roberto Marrero, (henchman) to…Guaido. We call for his immediate release. We will hold accountable those involved.”
Deputy State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said Marrero’s detention “will not stand. There will be consequences for a continued crackdown.”
“They have kidnapped (Marrero), my chief of staff (sic),” his whereabouts unknown.
Michelle Bachelet, more imperial tool than chief UN human rights representative, tweeted:
“We urge the (Venezuelan) government to strictly respect due process and immediately reveal (Marrero’s) whereabouts.”
A Brussels statement said
“(t)he European Union urges Mr. Marrero to be released immediately and unconditionally, and holds the relevant authorities responsible for his safety and integrity.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted:
“Appalled by the news that @jguaido’s chief of staff (sic), @ROBERTOMARRERO, has been illegally detained (sic) by the Maduro (government). Intimidation and fear (sic) will not stop the return of democracy to #Venezuela (sic). Those responsible must be held accountable.”
All of the above remarks by foreign authorities reflect subservience to Washington’s imperial agenda – ignoring its flagrant violation of international law.
The State Department named five Venezuelan officials involved in Marrero’s detention: Judge Carol Padilla, prosecutors Farid Mora Salcedo and Dinora Bustamante, along with intelligence officials Danny Contreras and Angel Flores.
The US formed Lima Group of regional nations issued a statement, saying Maduro “is responsible for the security and physical integrity of Roberto Marrero and Sergio Vergara. We demand the end of harassment of Venezuelan democrats (sic) and of the systematic practice of arbitrary detention (sic) and torture (sic) in Venezuela.”
OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro made similar comments against what he called Marrero’s “arbitrary arrest (sic).”
According to the Venezuelan chief prosecutor’s office, Marrero is being investigated for crimes, including a plot to kill Maduro.
He’ll likely remain in custody until formally charged or released if exonerated.
Washington’s only options are further sanctions and/or stoking violence and chaos by armed proxies or direct military intervention, the latter possibility highly unlikely – unless all else fails.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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