The Venezuelan authorities linked the opposition this Wednesday María Corina Machado with plans for “destabilizing actions” ahead of the presidential elections on July 28 and Two of his closest collaborators were arrested.

The attorney general, Tarek William Saab, did not specify, however, if there are judicial measures in particular against the opposition leader, a favorite in the polls, but disqualified from holding public office for 15 years, who reacted by denouncing a “brutal repression” against her campaign team.

“Everything, absolutely everything that the prosecutor of terror, the impudent ministry, said is false. Everything is a lie,” Machado said at a news conference. “They know they are defeated, because there is no way they can win an election against us,” he added.

María Corina Machado also pointed out that “the (Nicolás) Maduro regime unleashes brutal repression” against its “campaign teams.”

“These cowardly actions aim to close Venezuela’s path towards change and freedom in peace and democracy.”Machado published on the social network

Saab announced the arrest of Henry Alviárez and Dignora Hernándeznational leaders of Machado’s political organization, Vente Venezuela, accusing them of planning “destabilizing actions” in protests to “force” the authorization of the opposition leader to confront President Nicolás Maduro, who aspires to a third six-year term and this Wednesday he accepted the support of allies of the ruling party for his candidacy at a political event.

“The mission” was “to generate destabilization in the countryto agglomerate the masses using union and student unions to encourage a military wing” in favor of an uprising, Saab said in a statement to journalists, in which he recalled other conspiracies and assassination plans denounced by Chavismo.

Seven collaborators of Machado have been arrested in recent days and the Public Ministry has issued another seven arrest warrants, one of which targets Magalli Meda, the former deputy’s right-hand woman and considered as an alternative to be nominated in her place. The Prosecutor’s Office also requested the arrest of retired general Oswaldo Bracho.

The application period opens this Thursday and will last until next Monday.

Saab presented a video of a “confession” by one of the arrested collaborators, Emil Brandt, in which he claims that the plot was financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Brandt was arrested on March 9.

Despite an agreement signed in Barbados by the Maduro government and the opposition to review the disqualification of opposition leaders, in a negotiation mediated by Norway and in which the United States was key, The sanction against Machado was ratified by the Supreme Court.

The opposition negotiating delegation expressed this Wednesday its “categorical rejection” of the “criminalization” of politics.

Saab insinuated, without expressly mentioning her, that Machado is “the main intellectual author of this entire escalation.”

Maduro has called her “doña violence”

“Vente Venezuela is not a terrorist organization… Our route is electoral, we want a peaceful transition,” Orlando Moreno, coordinator of that group’s human rights committee, told AFP.

Political leaders released a video of Hernández’s arrest on social networks. “Help, please!” she is heard shouting as she struggles with police officers who force her into a van.

The United States called the arrests “arbitrary.”

“We condemn arbitrary detentions and arrest warrants” against opponents, the head of US diplomacy for Latin America, Brian Nichols, published in X, calling for his “immediate” release.

“Maduro’s growing attacks against civil society and political actors are totally inconsistent with the commitments of the Barbados Agreement,” he stressed.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yván Gil rejected the conviction and accused Nichols of being an “accomplice and defender” of “violent extremists.” “Avoid getting more muddy!” he asked.

Washington and the European Union have asked to lift the disqualification against Machado, who swept the primaries of the main opposition alliance.

As the elections approach, “repression” increases, denounced an independent UN mission that evaluates the human rights situation in Venezuela, which the Maduro government called “lies” in a statement.

“We are in a phase of reactivation of the most violent form of repression,” said Marta Valiño, head of the mission, before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.


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