viernes, 20 de febrero de 2015

Venezuelan regime arrests Caracas mayor, for "subversion"

Venezuelan security forces arrested on 19 February one of the country's leading opponents, the mayor of Caracas Antonio Ledezma, whom President Nicolás Maduro accused immediately of involvement in subversive plots. A "massive" group of policemen and security agents were reported to have broken into Ledezma's office and "hit" him before leading him away without letting him speak, Radio France Internationale cited his wife as saying. President Maduro had in recent days cited arrests in the armed forces for unspecified plotting, and reportedly accused Ledezma of connivence, in the latest of a string of such charges since he became president in 2013. On 19 February he said Mr Ledezma was using his position as mayor to "seek violence, coup plotting and destabilization." He said many opposition politicians did the same - "a mayor here, a governor there or a member of parliament" - to plot against the state and sabotage the economy, and warned subversives would go to court, the official AVN agency reported. The arrest came close to the anniversary of the arrest of another opponent closely connected to Ledezma, Leopoldo López. Two former regional presidents, Sebastián Piñera of Chile and Andrés Pastrana of Colombia, who have sought to have Mr López freed, denounced the latest arrest. Piñera called it "brutal, illegal and abusive," Venezuela's El Nacional reported, citing his Twitter account. A spokesman for the US State Department also rejected Maduro's charges that the United States was sabotating Venezuela's economy; Venezuela's economic problemss were the fruit of its government's policies, CNN quoted spokeswoman Jen Psaki as saying.