National Assembly deputy Juan Pablo Guanipa has gone into hiding after the Maduro regime revoked his parliamentary immunity at the end of October over his alleged role in the failed uprising of April 30.
Guanipa has not been formally charged with any crimes.
In an interview published today, Guanipa said that he “[feels] the need to remain in Venezuela”, and that as a result he had chosen to go into hiding, minimizing his public appearances and political activities in order to avoid detention.
At the same time, Guanipa suggested that he had not ruled out the possibility of fleeing the country altogether. Guanipa said:
I’ve entered a period of reflection, of revision, and I’m not ruling out any possibility. At the same time, I can’t make things easy for the regime and show up anywhere so that I can get arrested.
Guanipa also explained that by going into hiding and remaining in the country, he felt that he would gain the ability to “maneuver so that I can help” in the struggle against the Maduro regime “with my little grain of sand”.
On Attorney General Tarek William Saab, who heads the political persecution against himself and other opposition figures in the country, Guanipa said:
I’m saddened that he’s fallen so low. I’m deeply saddened by the fact that he is being used by the dictatorship to accuse people who have not committed any crimes in Venezuela, and I’m saddened by the fact that he lacks the conscience to understand the seriousness of the events that he is facilitating.
I’m ashamed by him.
As of May of this year, there were 67 opposition National Assembly deputies had been victimized by political persecution of some form, accounting for 60% of all opposition legislators at the national level. Nearly a dozen had been forced into exile.
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