Venezuelan intelligence raids opposition leader Guaido's offices, says lawmaker

25 Janvier, 2020, 21:52 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido speaks to journalists during a regional counter-terrorism meeting at the police academy in Bogota Colombia

"We tried to talk through a proposal of a very simple solution guaranteed to all sectors, a truly free presidential election".

Pompeo said these aircraft were blacklisted because they have been involved in the "harassment of USA military flights in Caribbean airspace or have been used to transport senior members of the illegitimate former [President Nicolas] Maduro regime, which continues to subject the people of Venezuela to brutal and dictatorial practices".

Venezuela's intelligence service raided the offices of opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who arrived in Europe to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos. More than 4 million citizens have fled the country, many to Colombia. "We are not resigned, on the contrary, we are fighting", said Guaido.

He added: "We are asking for something simple: fair and free presidential elections".

At the beginning of January, US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams said during a press briefing that the US was looking at potentially applying additional sanctions in Venezuela to put more pressure on the Maduro government.

In an interview with the Washington Post earlier this week, Maduro called for direct talks between his government and the US. But U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. would only negotiate if Maduro was willing to commit to stepping down.

In the capital, Bogota, he met Pompeo, who reaffirmed the support of the United States for his presidency.

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Last year, Norwegian-backed talks between the Venezuelan opposition and the Maduro government ended in failure, without reaching an agreement that could have paved the way for a new vote.

Guaido admits that there is "frustration" with the pace of change a year after his attempted takeover, but has dismissed Maduro's claim to be president.

"He's in control of the disaster and humanitarian emergency, the abuse of human rights, corruption". What is the dictator talking about?

Venezuela resembles war-torn Syria, he said, drawing parallels to his country's sweeping migration crisis and pointing to paramilitary groups operating in the country.

Now, having gained little traction with his persistent humanitarian appeal, Guaido's message seems to have shifted to focus on criminal activity that he says props up Maduro's regime.

"I think this is an important moment, and there is a global conscience of what the Venezuelan crisis means, again, comparing it to Syria, Myanmar, South Sudan and Yemen", Guaido said. "The difference is that these countries have been in war. We didn't see the bombs but we felt the pain".

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