The Foro Penal Venezolano (Venezuelan Penal Forum, FPV) provided an update to the Maduro regime’s persecution against dissenters today, revealing that between January 1 2014 and August 21 2019, 15,160 people have been arrested for political reasons in Venezuela.
According to the FPV, 2,169 Venezuelans have been arbitrarily arrested by regime forces in 2019 alone. The FPV also revealed that there are currently 476 political prisoners in regime jails today, including 107 members of the armed forces.
The FPV published these figures in a report, which you can access here.
The report came out on the same day that the National Assembly issued yet another public call demanding that the Maduro regime release three opposition deputies currently held in regime prisons. The deputies are:
- Juan Requesens (imprisoned for 407 days)
- Edgar Zambrano (imprisoned for 130 days)
- Roberto Marrero (imprisoned for 179)
The cases of the three men exhibit many of the characteristics that mark political persecutions in Venezuela, including the systematic denial of due process rights like access to a lawyer.
Wall Street Journal Published Report Linking Chavez to Drug Trafficking
The Wall Street Journal published an article today in which it directly connects late president Hugo Chavez to drug trafficking operations in the United States, claiming that:
… in the mid-2000s [Chavez] ordered his top lieutenants to work with Colombian Marxist guerrillas to flood the U.S. with cocaine in his government’s efforts to combat the Bush administration…
The WSJ cites “U.S. documents” from the office of federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York for the information.
The article claims in that in 2005, Chavez called for a meeting with a trusted group of officials to formalize the plan, which involved working closely with Colombia’s Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias (FARC) to ship cocaine into the United Stated. Of the meeting, the document claims:
During the meeting, Chavez called on the group… to promote their political objectives, including combating the United States by “flooding” it with cocaine.
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