Miguel Rodriguez Torres, the Minister of the Interior and Justice, gave a presentation today in which he accused a bunch of people with a plan to destabilize Venezuela. Torres argued that the plan had been in the works for years, and that the events of the last few months are the result of that plan.
According to Torres, the directors of the Voluntad Popular opposition party, supported by a group of lawyers from Miami and Nobel prize nominee Gene Sharp, are involved in the destabilizing activities. Also implicated was a man nicknamed “The Aviator”, Lilian Tintori (Leopoldo Lopez’s wife), the director of the news website La Patilla, and ex-Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. Torres assured viewers that these activities are being coordinated through the United States Department of State. Torres also claimed that the following people were involved in the conspiracy:
- Humerto Prado, director of the Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones, an NGO.
- Eligio Cedeño, a businessman.
- David Smolansky, mayor of El Hatillo.
- Maria Corina Machado, ex-member of the National Assembly.
- Alberto Federico Revell, a journalist.
- Henrique Salas Romer, ex-governor of Carabobo.
- Antonio Ledezma, mayor of the Metropolitan District of Caracas.
The accusations were made during a press conference, which I will work on providing a transcript for in the next few days.
On the accusations, Gonzalo Himiob – a lawyer and member of the Venezuelan Penal Forum – had this to say:
[I am surprised] by the capacity to invent and develop fictional stories that the minister has. I think that his reasoning falls more in the fiction [category] than in the reality of the country.
Meanwhile, in the United States Senate, the Foreign Relations Committee will hold on audience on May 8 to examine the allegations of human rights abuses that have taken place in Venezuela since February 12. As far as violations against freedom of the press go, Espacio Publico announced today through a press release that according to its statistics, there were 325 violations against the freedom of expression and information since the start of 2014, and increase of 240% over the 2013 figures.
A few pictures from around the country today. From Altamira:
A demonstration somewhere in Merida:
Maria Corina Machado before a crowd in Merida: