The ongoing trial against Efrain and Francisco Flores – Maduro’s nephews through his marriage with Cilia Flores – saw another bombshell revelation today, as sources “close” to the trial told El Nuevo Herald that 18 Venezuelan residents have been subpoenaed to the trial, including “immediate relatives” of both Maduro and Cilia Flores.
The newspaper claims that authorities honed in one the individuals after going the cell phones and laptops that Efrain and Francisco carried when they got arrested in Haiti last November for allegedly attempting to smuggle 800 kilograms of cocaine into the U.S.
The prosecution has an ace of its sleeve. When they arrested the nephews, they took a laptop, tablets and telephones. And they’ve just received the forensic report from the FBI (…) they have transcripts of everything they did through those phones. There are six [cell phones] in total, because they each had three, plus iPads and a computer.
The source claims that the FBI was able to uncover “a whole network of drug trafficking” from the data on the mobile devices. The source also claims that while some of the individuals implicated in drug trafficking activities were saved onto the phones with pseudonyms, authorities had little difficulty deducting their true identities.
El Nuevo Herald claims that some of the evidence – saved primarily in the form of text messages, e-mails and WhatsAp messages – shows “the direct involvement Maduro-Flores family member still in Venezuela” in illicit activities.
The source told the newspaper that the subpoena is for October 21, and that the individuals have been instructed to appear at the New York City court in charge of the case. Failure to do so may result in the court finding the individuals in contempt of court, a fact that may have legal repercussions for the individuals in question.
Crackdown on Opposition Continues as Ocariz Accused of Terrorism
The crackdown against opposition politicians continued today as the head of the Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional (SEBIN) [National Bolivarian Intelligence Service], Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez, announced that Sucre municipality mayor Carlos Ocariz is under investigation for “terrorist” acts. Lopez suggested that Ocariz was the mastermind behind a campaign looking to instigate a rebellion in Venezuela with the goal of overthrowing the Maduro government.
The Sucre municipality makes up the eastern half of Caracas. Along with Libertador, El Hatillo, Baruta and Chacao, Sucre makes up the city of Caracas.
Lopez also suggested that Ocariz had orchestrated a grenade attack in Petare – which is located in Sucre – that took place on October 2. Lopez said that the physical perpetrators of the attack have been arrested, and that they implicated Ocariz in the act. Lopez explained:
All of the accomplices are directly or indirectly connected to the mayor of the Sucre municipality, Carlos Ocariz, whose presumptive implication [sic] is under investigation with the goal of determining his role, as well as the possibility that he financed these terrorist activities.
There are currently 101 political prisoners in Venezuela. Many of them are opposition leaders like Manuel Rosales, Leopoldo Lopez, and Antonio Ledezma.
Ocariz: We Don’t Want Rebellion, We Want to Vote
Ocariz responded to Lopez’s accusations with a press conference today, saying that the government was desperately trying to create a narrative in which the opposition wants to plunge the country into violence. Ocariz argued that the narrative is false, and that the opposition only wants a peaceful solution to the crisis via a recall vote against Maduro.
Ocariz also pointed out that, as the head opposition politician in charge of the recall effort against Maduro, he is a clear target for the government.
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