“Venezuela” became a hot topic in Ecuador again today as president Lenin Moreno continues to face massive, nation-wide protests against an unpopular austerity measure that he announced nearly two weeks ago.
According to the Ecuadorian government, authorities there arrested a group of Venezuelans in Quito this morning who allegedly had with them “information about the movement of the president [of Ecuador] and vice president”. The information came from Maria Paula Romo, a member of Moreno’s cabinet, in a tweet:
Seventeen people were arrested this morning in the Quito airport, the majority of whom were Venezuelan.
In this procession, [they had] information about the movement of the president and vice president.
It is not known exactly how many of the arrested are Venezuelan, or what constitutes “information about the movement” of Moreno and his vice president.
Early this afternoon, president Moreno suggested in a television interview that violence at the protests in Ecuador was taking place at the order of Maduro and former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa, although he provided no evidence for his claim. He said:
The thing that no one has a right to do, is attack people [and] damage public property in cities that are mostly historical, under the auspices of Caracas and under orders of Maduro and Correa. There has been looting in Guayaquil as well.
During the same interview, Moreno said that authorities had found evidence that Colombia’s FARC, a largely demobilized guerrilla group, was also playing a role in the protests against him.
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