Juan Jose Marquez, uncle to opposition leader Juan Guaido, was arrested by regime authorities and has been accused of attempting to smuggle explosives into Venezuela on a commercial flight from Portugal.
Last night, Marquez’s lawyer, Joel Garcia, explained that Marquez was arrested by officers from the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (Dirección General de Contrainteligencia Militar, DGCIM). Garcia called the allegations against his client “a farce”, and pointed out that the once-head of the country’s political police, Christopher Figuera, claimed that the Maduro regime had long-wanted to frame Guaido’s relatives.
Garcia said that because there is “no rule of law” in the country, it was unlikely that his client would be released soon even though the charges against him are clearly fabricated.
Marquez arrived on the same TAP commercial flight from Lisbon that brought Guaido back to Venezuela on Tuesday from his international tour.
Speaking on his weekly television show last night, ruling party vice president Diosdado Cabello said that Garcia was arrested after the authorities determined that he had smuggled “Very dangerous materials” into the country aboard the TAP flight. Cabello said:
He entered [Venezuela] with a bulletproof vest, something which is prohibited. He had tactical flashlights with explosive substances [sic], presumably C4, and perfume bottles that had inside them chemicals, which were also presumably C4.
Cabello also said that Garcia had been arrested in possession of a USB drive that had an “English document” which Cabello claims outlined “operations against Venezuela”.
During his show, Cabello showed images of what he claims were the materials that were confiscated from Garcia.
Portugal, TAP Call Out Regime Tale
Portugal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, said today that the regime’s allegations against Marquez are “nonsense”.
During his TV show last night, Cabello accused Portugal’s TAP airlines of being involved in the alleged plot to smuggle the materials into the country, saying that the airline “are no saints”.
A spokesperson for TAP reacted to Cabello’s allegations by saying that it was not possible that the materials were smuggled aboard the aircraft giving security controls. The spokesperson said:
It’s not possible. [Passengers] cannot take explosives on board our aircraft because we have security checks that detect them.
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