The opposition is denouncing what it calls the arbitrary detention of two of Juan Guaido’s bodyguards, both of whom were detained last night in Caracas late in the evening. Guaido, who was in Trujillo state today, said that his team lost contact with the two bodyguards at approximately 8:30 PM last night.
The bodyguard’s names are Erick Sanchez and Jason Parissi. They had been assigned to guard Guaido’s family while he was in Trujillo.
According to the statement, the bodyguards were arrested while they were finishing their shift at a Caracas subway station. There, they were detained by officers with the Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional (National Bolivarian Intelligence Service, SEBIN), and are currently being held incommunicado.
As has become custom in Venezuela, news of the arrests came not from the Public Ministry of the Attorney General, but rather from Minister of Communication Jorge Rodriguez, a spokesperson for Maduro’s office. According to Rodriguez, the two bodyguards–plus a third man named Eduardo Garcia–were arrested for having in their possession assault rifles, and for trying to sell them. Rodriguez claims that the weapons had been stolen from the National Guard office in the National Assembly on April 30.
Rodriguez provided no evidence for any of his claims.
The detention of the two men comes as the opposition and the Maduro regime are engaged in talks with the goal of reaching a peaceful solution to the crisis. Just four days ago, Maduro applauded the talks, saying that they were “very auspicious” and that they were sure that they would be fruitful.
In its statement, the National Assembly said that it considers the arrests to be
… evidence once more than in Venezuela there is no trust to be placed in agreement that can be reached [with the regime], even more so when they take place during talks in search for a peaceful, constitutional, democratic and electoral solution [to the crisis]…
The detention of the bodyguards come as the country continues to reel from the murder of Rafael Acosta, a political prisoner who was tortured to death over the course of a week this past June.
Guaido Speaks to Massive Crowds in Trujillo
Guaido carried on today with a rally in Trujillo state, where we spoke to enthusiastic crowds in the town of Bocono.
I want to send all of Venezuela a message: all of that is over. Venezuela is no longer a polarized country. On the contrary, it’s a country full of hope, [with a] future and able to move forward as long as we are together.
Below, images of Guaido’s trip to Trujillo:
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