The whereabouts of Juan Requesens, a National Assembly deputy and political prisoner, were a mystery for much of the day today as he was allegedly transported in and out of the jail in which he is being held.
Shortly after the noon hour, one of Requesens’ lawyers, Joel Garcia, tweeted the following message:
#30Oct URGENT. Unofficial sources have informed us that deputy [Juan Requesens] was taken out of his cell in El Helicoide and we do not know where he is being taken.
Requesens, 29, has been a legislator at the National Assembly since his election in 2015. He represents Tachira state.
Following the August 4 Caracas drone attack, Requesens was named by the Maduro regime as one of the masterminds of an assassination attempt against Maduro.
Requesens was arrested in October 8 by the Servicio Nacional de Inteligencia Nacional (SEBIN}, the regime’s political police. He has been held in the SEBIN’s Caracas headquarters, El Helicoide, since then.
As news of Requesens’ unannounced transport broke, his relatives issued a press release demanding that they be allowed to speak to Juan, and that they be informed of where he was being taken. Part of the release reads:
We demand that we be allowed to communicate with deputy Juan Requesens so that we can be sure of his condition. We have not received any official word about his presumed transport.
Just yesterday, Requesens’ father, Juan Guillermo, announced that his son was suffering from a facial infection for which he was not being treated. Juan Guillermo suggested that Requesens’ illness first developed two weeks ago, and that the pain that it was causing him was akin to “torture”.
About an hour after raising the alarm about Requesens’ transport out of El Helicoide, Garcia tweeted the following message:
#30Oct [Unofficially we know that] deputy [Juan Requesens] is arriving alongside SEBIN officers at the Military Hospital.
Garcia’s next message, posted some two hours later, reads as follows:
We have been unoficially informed that deputy [Juan Requesens] has once again entered El Helicoide, presumably after being treated in the Military Hospital.
As of the writing of this update, the Maduro regime has yet to issue an official update on Requesens’ medical condition or the reason for his transport today.
It is not unusual for Venezuelan authorities to hold individuals incommunicado for weeks or months, or from them to transport them in and out of prison without alerting loved ones.
SEBIN Under New Management
The Maduro regime confirmed today that Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez has been removed from his position as the head of the SEBIN, replaced by general Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera.
Before becoming the head of one of the most feared police institutions, Figuera was director general of the Centro Estrategico de Seguridad y Proteccion de la Patria [Homeland Security and Protection Strategic Centre], an umbrella organization that forms part of the regime’s security apparatus. Figuera was appointed to this position in 2017.
Prior to that appointment, Figuera served as the head of the Direccion de Inteligencia Militar [Military Intelligence Directorate] since 2007.
Rumours that Gonzalez Lopez was out as the head of the SEBIN began to circulate three days ago.
Maduro Visits Cuba
Maduro arrived in Havana today to mark the 18th anniversary of a cooperation pact between Cuba and Venezuela.
Maduro tweeted the following image, showing the moment that he met former Cuban leader Raul Castro:
Today we celebrate, in Havana, Cuba: the 18 years of the historic union between our peoples [sic]. I thank the general of the armies, Raul Castro, for his gracious hospitality. Long live the union between Cuba and Venezuela!
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