Former Zulia state governor and presidential candidate Manuel Rosales is expected to arrive in the country later today after living in exile for the past six years. Rosales plans to arrive in Maracaibo this afternoon, along with an entourage of lawyers, politicians, and reporters from La Verdad. Rosales will fly in to Venezuela from Aruba.
All of his rights will be respected if it’s true that he is coming. I think it’s great that he’s coming, and that he’s facing justice. That’s the attitude everyone should have (…) all of his rights will be guaranteed, but he will be apprehended immediately upon his return to the country.
Rosales was accused of corruption in 2008. Earlier this year, Jose Luis Pirela who had previously accused Rosales of corruption) told La Verdad that he had been pressured by a former judge to make a new accusation against Rosales “to politically liquidate Manuel Rosales through a judicial lunching”. In July, Pirela told the newspaper:
Aponte Aponte [a former judge] showed me a plan full of lies with alleged evidence – that as in the previous case I discovered were false – accusing Rosales of crimes that I didn’t even know about, and pretending that I was the accuser. He [Aponte Aponte] came up with this other plan, without evidence, without any element of evidence with which to accuse him. Even though I refused [to go along with the plan], others did agree to this despicable act.
In 2012, the judge involved in the Rosales case, Eladio Aponte Aponte, defected to the United States, and said that he received “an infinite amount of calls” from the head of the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia to manipulate and fabricate cases against the government’s enemies during his time as a judge.
Party Vows to Defend Rosales “Peacefully” If Arrested
Elias Matta, the head of the Un Nuevo Tiempo party, told El Nacional that party members were ready and willing to take “peaceful action” to disrupt Rosales’ arrest in the hopes of stopping it, should it take place.
Matta pointed out that fact that the judge responsible for Rosales’ charges, Eladio Aponte Aponte, admitted in a sworn declaration that the trial against Rosales was entirely political and without factual basis.
We’ve been able to clearly prove that it’s all been a political fiction. Interpol conducted a trial in Paris, and nothing could be proven, so the red alert [for the capture of Rosales] was lifted.
Strong Security Force Deployed to Airport
At least 100 National Guard soldiers arrived at the La Chinita airport in Maracaibo this afternoon in anticipation of Manuel Rosales’ return to Venezuela.
Twitter users began posting pictures to the social media website just after the noon hour. Below, some of the pictures:
13 Supreme Court Justices Announce Retirement
The Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, the nation’s top court, announced the early retirement of 13 of its justices today.
Last week, a former Supreme Court justice told El Nacional that the resignations were “suspicious”, and that they were likely the result of the PSUV’s fear that by losing the National Assembly in December, they would be unable to appoint new justices to the court when their terms expire next year.
Opposition Party Calls for Minimum Salary Increase
Jose Gregorio Garcia, the head of the Unidad Democracia Renovadora party, called today on the national government to raise the minimum monthly salary in Venezuela from Bs. 7,421.67 to Bs. 50,000. Garcia pointed to the increasing cost of the basic nutritious basket, a measure of all of the food a person should eat in order to maintain a minimum standard of health.
A significant increase to the [minimum monthly] salary is necessary given the cost of the nutritious basket, which now costs around Bs. 79,000, which equals $112.85 at the free-floating exchange rate. The minimum monthly salary in Venezuela equals $10.50. This means that you need ten minimum salaries to be able to eat.
Maduro Hails Step Forward in Guyana Dispute
Maduro met with a delegation from the United Nations yesterday and hailed the meeting’s results as “concrete steps towards peace”.
Maduro explained that one result of the meeting was the achievement “of the re-activation of the Geneva Accord” to resolve the dispute over the Essequibo region. The Geneva Accord, which Venezuela and Guyana reached in 1966, agreed on the creation of a “mixed commission” of experts from both sides to resolve the dispute, and blocked both countries from making new territorial claims while the agreement held.
Maduro also announced that the United Nations delegation would be back in November to begin a second round of dialogue.
CNE Rector: “Respect” Agreement Not Required
Luis Emilio Rondon, one of the five rectors for the Consejo Nacional Electoral, clarified yesterday that the agreement to respect the parliamentary election’s results that Maduro has been pushing for is not necessary.
Instead, Rondon pointed out that what is necessary is that both sides abide my electoral norms. Rondon explained:
For example, the use of public resources for the benefit of political organization or specific candidates is prohibited.
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