Correspondent in Caracas
Nicolás Maduro had another attempt to kick the negotiating table when he threatened this Sunday in public, through the Venezuelan state television network (VTV), with imprisoning Juan Guaidó, which fueled tensions between the two delegations that met from last Friday to yesterday in Mexico City to try to reach partial agreements to alleviate the humanitarian crisis that the Caribbean country has suffered for years.
In his interview with the Minister of Culture, Ernesto Villegas, broadcast by VTV, Maduro accused: «Here there will be no impunity either in Mexico or on Mars, here there must be justice, severe justice because there is a lot of damage that has been done to him. to Venezuelan life (…) with the theft of assets ».
It was a very direct insinuation that Maduro launched without mentioning the interim president Guaidó, whom he allegedly accused in this way of “Steal” the assets of the Republic abroad such as Citgo, a subsidiary of the state-owned oil company PDVSA in the United States, or Monómeros in Colombia, and the alleged “kidnapping and theft of more than 8,000 million (dollars) from bank accounts” and the gold stored in the United Kingdom .
Guaidó: “You are the one indicated”
When he felt alluded to, Guaidó replied on his Twitter account that he also dreams, but “with what Venezuela be free and democratic. We will see that day. That is why we are on the street fighting and looking for an agreement in Mexico. Remember that you are the one who is indicated in the ICC (International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity) and has 15 million in reward. You don’t dare go out into the street to listen to people. “
As reported by ABC, the former ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, concluded that “civil authorities, members of the Armed Forces and pro-government individuals have committed crimes against humanity in Venezuela at least since April 2017 ”, which was reflected in a recent report that left his successor in the position. Bensouda opened a ‘preliminary examination’ in 2018 on allegations of abuse by the security forces in Venezuela and the next step for the Prosecutor’s Office is to determine whether to open a formal investigation.
Regarding the dialogue with the opposition in Mexico, whose second round began on the 3rd and ended last night, Maduro reiterated that the signing of a memorandum of understanding on August 13 established “what is the government recognized by the opposition and the opposition recognized by government”. In addition, this document “annexes an agenda of issues” among which are the “immediate lifting of all sanctions (…) against Venezuela and the immediate return of all bank accounts, assets and gold in Venezuela,” Maduro said. .
This time the official delegation of eleven members, two more than the opposition, led by Jorge Rodríguez, included Nicolás Guerra Maduro, known as Nicolasito, who was appointed to protect the interests of his father and the family of Cilia Flores. Also featured are Francisco Torrealba, Hector Rodríguez, Larry Dovoe, William Castillo, Diva Guzman, Genifer Garvett, Garbiela Jimenez, Render Peña and Margot Godoy.
Meanwhile, the opposition delegation was headed by Gerardo Blyde and made up of Freddy Guevara, Tomás Guanipa, Stalin González, Luis Emilio Rondón, Luis Aquiles Moreno, Roberto Enriquez, Mariela Magallanes and Claudia Nikken. Guevara replaces Carlos Vecchio, Guaidó’s ambassador in Washington and whose participation in these talks was vetoed by Maduro.
Both Jorge Rodríguez and his counterpart, Gerardo Blyde, had declared the day before that they were seeking an early partial agreement to alleviate the humanitarian crisis, which at press time was still being discussed.