Speaking at an event in Los Palos Grandes in Caracas, Juan Guaido spoke on the one year anniversary of the arrest of National Assembly deputy Juan Requesens, and the recent sanctions by the White House against Venezuelan government assets in the United States.

On Requesens’ continued detention, Guaido said that “to be forgotten is to die”, and that he had not forgotten about Requesens nor the rest of the Maduro regime’s political prisoners.

Requesens was arrested on August 7 of last year, after Maduro accused him of being involved in the drone assassination attempt of August 5. In a televised address on August 7, Maduro accused Requesens of being the “mastermind” of the attack, and called him a “psychopath”. Maduro provided no evidence for his claims, and Requesens’ case has yet to go to trial.

While in detention, Requesens has been tortured and held incommunicado from friends, relatives and his legal team for extended periods of time. His preliminary hearing was postponed five times, and only took place on July 1 of this year. meaning that Requesens spent nearly a year in prison without appearing before a judge.

On the newest sanctions from Washington against the Venezuelan government, Guaido repeated a claim he made yesterday that he “understands” the concerns of experts to the effect that the sanctions are ineffective and will likely impact ordinary Venezuelans negatively. However, Guaido sidestepped denouncing the sanctions, and instead said that they were all the more reason for Maduro to resign. He said:

I understand the experts’ concerns,and that’s why we’re demanding an end to the usurpation [i.e., Maduro’s resignation].

Guaido also said that the sanctions were part of the opposition’s strategy to return democracy to Venezuela:

We don’t believe that the dialogue will work as an isolated technique, but do believe that it will work as part of a strategy that includes also international sanctions, pressure on the streets and the diplomatic efforts of the National Assembly. We’re working towards and aligned with a great strategy to bring an end to the usurpation.

For Maduro, Guaido had one message:

The hunger, the desperation, the lack of electricity and water are all Nicolas Maduro’s responsibility. If you’re so interested [in these issues[ then leave the Miraflores [presidential palace], and tomorrow the sanctions will be lifted.

Panama Canal Authority Shoots Down Detained Ship Claims

Early this afternoon, vice president Delcy Rodriguez claimed in a tweet that a ship carrying 25,000 tonnes of soy to Venezuela had been “detained” in the Panama Canal. While Rodriguez did not provide details regarding the alleged ship or the reason for the detention, Rodriguez claimed that it was related to sanctions placed against Venezuela by the United States.

Below, Rodriguez’s tweet:

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela denounces before the world that at this moment a ship carrying 25,000 tonnes of soy to produce food for our country is being detained in the Panama Canal at this moment as a result of the criminal blockade put into place by [US president Donald Trump].

Less than two hours later, the Panama Canal authority replied to Rodriguez’s tweet by saying that no such detention had taken place. Below, the tweet:

The Panama Canal wishes to inform that every scheduled transit is taking place without any kind of delay. No ship has been detained, contrary to information that has circulated on social media today.

Rodriguez followed up her initial tweet with a second later in the afternoon in which she apparently clarified her earlier comments. In this tweet, Rodriguez shared what appears to be a Whatsapp message from an unknown source apparently talking about a ship.

Below, Rodriguez’s tweet along with my translation:

This is the note that the soy provider [has sent] demanding an immediate change to the destination. The ship is in the Panama canal [and] cannot come to its original destination: Venezuela!

None of the details of the Whatsapp message–including who sent it, when, and to whom–are clear.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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