Wednesday, February 21

Venezuela Accuses Human Rights Activist of Plot to Kill Maduro

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(Bloomberg) — Venezuela authorities detained lawyer and human rights activist Rocío San Miguel alleging she was part of a conspiracy to kill President Nicolas Maduro, Public Prosecutor Tarek William Saab said on X.

San Miguel was detained in relation to a “conspiracy scheme” aimed at high governmental officials, including Maduro, which included planned attacks on military units in Tachira and other states, Saab said. She was detained on Friday before taking an international flight, according to Provea, a human rights NGO in the country. 

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The arrest of San Miguel, a military analyst who runs Control Ciudadano, an NGO watchdog group, came after three aides to María Corina Machado were detained in late January, also accused of plotting to kill Maduro. Machado, who was barred by the nation’s top court from running against Maduro in this year’s election, and other opposition figures accuse the Venezuelan leader of abusing the law as he tightens his grip on power. 

In total, roughly 260 political prisoners are being held in the country, according to a Caracas-based human rights organization, Foro Penal. The US has expressed concern about the Maduro government’s recent crackdown, which comes only a few months after the regime and the opposition agreed on terms for a fairer vote in the second half of the year. 

After the so-called Barbados agreement was signed in October, the Biden administration announced a temporary easing of sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector and other key industries. But with Maduro backsliding on his promises, the US administration has said it won’t renew the suspension on energy sanctions when it expires in April.

Read more: US Set to Renew Venezuela Oil Sanctions After Candidate Ban 

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