The Venezuelan opposition marked the 100th day of National Assembly deputy Edgar Zambrano’s arrest with a set of tweets in which it called attention to his case, and denounced some of the abuses to which he is being submitted.
According to the Centro de Comunicacion Nacional (National Communication Centre, CCN), the opposition’s official press outlet, Zambrano is being held “incommunicado”, and as a consequence has not been granted the right to mount a defense. The CCN also claimed that Zambrano has not even been allowed to assemble a legal team to defend him.
Zambrano was the vice president of the National Assembly when he was arrested on May 8 over his alleged involvement in the failed April 30 coup d’etat. Zambrano is being held in the Fuerte Tiuna military base in Caracas.
Henry Ramos Allup, the head of the Accion Democratica (AD) party to which Zambrano belongs, gave details about the state of the legal proceedings against him. Allup said:
His case hasn’t been assigned to a court. They told him that they couldn’t [start his trial] to slow things down and keep him in detention longer, without going to court. His lawyers are the best, but they can’t defend him because there’s no way that this makes it to a normal judicial process.
Allup also called attention to the fact that one of the charges against Zambrano is traicion a la patria (literally, “betraying the country”), which is one of the more common charges that the Maduro regime uses against political opponents. For Allup, the concept of betraying the country is flawed. He explained:
We didn’t shoot anyone. We didn’t kill anyone. This whole “betraying the country” thing was invented by these idiots [the Maduro regime]. If you oppose the government, you oppose the state and the country? No, Nicolas [Maduro]. You are not the country.
OPEC: Venezuelan Oil Production Continues Freefall
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) released its monthly production report today, which shows that Venezuela’s oil production continues to decline.
Once one of the largest and most prestigious oil companies on the planet, PDVSA has been largely brought to ruin by two decades of mismanagement and corruption at the hands of the Chavez and Maduro governments. When Chavez took office in 1999, Venezuela was producing an average of 2.8 million barrels of oil per day, and 2.3 million barrels per day in 2013 when Maduro took office.
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