The home of Julio Borges, the head of the Primero Justicia (PJ) party, was raided during the overnight hours by authorities as the Maduro regime’s persecution of the head of the country’s largest opposition party continues. Borges, who is currently in hiding in Colombia, tweeted the raid as it happened through his personal account.
The raid was conducted by the Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional [National Bolivarian Intelligence Service] (SEBIN), the regime’s political police.
In a series of tweets, Borges said that the SEBIN agents had forced their way into his family home without a warrant, and that–based on the “loud noises” that neighbours heard inside the home–were tearing apart the residence. Borges also expressed concern that the purpose of the raid was to plant evidence against him in the home.
Below, a selection of Borges’ tweets along with my translation:
I want to denounce that the SEBIN is raiding my house without a warrant, or witnesses, or a prosecutor. Only with the goal of harassing, stealing or planting [evidence]. We continue to fight.
At this moment 11:57 PM they are drilling through the doors of my house, they are trying to break in to plant [evidence], this is a house that only contains [objects belonging to] my children and family.
12:10 [AM] they are still in my home harassing the neighbours so that they will not be recorded. That coward [Nicolas Maduro] thinks that we will submit to him. We will not surrender.
1:43 AM [The] SEBIN is still in my house, they won’t let the neighbours get near, they hear loud noises inside our house which, I insist, only contains the belongings of my children and family.
2:26 AM [The] SEBIN is still in my home illegally. They are stealing and tearing everything apart. They are still harassing the neighbours. The order [for the raid] came directly from [Nicolas Maduro].
Borges’ PJ party is the largest opposition party by seats in the National Assembly.
Jorge Rodriguez Alleges Drone was Detonated from Inside the U.S.
Minister of Communication Jorge Rodriguez held a press conference in which he made a number of claims on Saturday’s drone attack.
Rodriguez said that the investigation into the attack was ongoing, and that authorities had discovered that one of the drones was detonated by someone in the United States. He said:
One of the drones was detonated remotely from the United States of America.
Rodriguez also accused Borges of being drunk during one of the negotiations that the opposition and the ruling PSUV party held in the Dominican Republic earlier this year.
The minister also said that Caracas had evidence that one of the drones had been flown in Colombia, but it is not clear from his comment what this evidence might be or how the Venezuelan authorities may have determined this.
Rodriguez did not provide any evidence for his comments, and also said that suspects were currently located “not only in Colombia and in the United States, but in other countries”.
Rodriguez Airs Video of Detained Deputy Juan Requesens
During his televised address, Rodriguez also aired video of detained National Assembly deputy Juan Requesens. Requesens was arrested on Tuesday after being named one of the masterminds of the drone attack. His whereabouts are currently unknown, and neither his family nor his lawyers have seen him since his arrest.
Starting several weeks ago I was contacted by Julio Borges, who asked me for the favour of moving a person from Venezuela to Colombia. It was Juan Monasterio. He contacted me via text message.
Juan Monasteiro is another suspect in the drone attack.
Requesens’ family believes that he is being held in El Helicoide, a notorious prison in Caracas that is operated by the regime’s political police, the SEBIN. Inside the prison, SEBIN agents brutally torture detainees and held without outside contact.
U.S. Judge Orders Seizure of Citgo Over Debt Obligations
A U.S. federal judge issued a ruling yesterday in which he ordered the seizure of Citgo by Cristallex, a Canadian company over unpaid debt obligations. Citgo is a subsidiary of PDVSA, the Venezuelan state-owned oil company.
PDVSA had put 50.1% of Citgo’s shares as collateral for its 2020 bonds, with the remaining 49.9% of the company going to Russia’s Rosneft as collateral for a $1.5 billion loan two years ago, Reuters reports.
The ruling is still sealed, so there are no details regarding when it will be enforced.
Citgo’s takeover is yet another blow to PDVSA. Once a giant of oil production on the global stage, PDVSA has been left a mere husk of what it once was due to years of neglect, mismanagement and corruption.
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