Venezuelan governmental authorities have provided what they allege is evidence of former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe’s involvement in the current disturbances and violence. They also claim that the US has provided some advice, and that mercenaries are involved.
Communications minister Delcy Rodriguez last night accused Uribe, the Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce (Fedecamaras), and the American-Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Venamcham) of being “implicated” in the current “destabilising” actions.
“We have been showing the proof [of this] for years, at the moment we’re investigating other facts so that soon we can show to what extent Fedecamaras is involved in this coup [attempt],” she said.
Further, last night National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello revealed a series of alleged emails between political advisor Juan Jose Rendon, and Ricardo Koesling of the opposition Piedra party.
Rendon allegedly wrote to Koesling about the role of Uribe in supplying “resources and sub-contacts” and that Uribe’s aim was to “end with this cancer of a regime”.
Cabello also read out an email that was allegedly written by rightwing legislator Maria Corina Machado to lawyer Gustavo Tarre on 20 February.
“We’re going to continue the example of Tachira [where many of the most violent barricades have been set up], but we shouldn’t for a minute abandon the call to the street and for peace, this is the advice…of our friends in the Department [the US State Department], as it shouldn’t be the regime that kidnaps this word to be used as its flag,” Machado allegedly wrote.
Cabello also claimed that Alejandro Marquez, who died on Sunday, was killed by the rightwing. Cabello argued on public television that Marquez was killed because he didn’t fulfil a mission he was paid to do. According to Cabello, Marquez received paramilitary training, and he showed photos of Marquez using snipers while he was training in the US. He also showed Tweets where Marquez discussed killing president Nicolas Maduro.
Private opposition media La Patilla reported that that Marquez died “beaten up by the GNB (Bolivarian National Guard) in an [opposition] protest”.
However Cabello argued that rightwing sectors are using Uribe, “to bring hired killers here to kill people in the barricades and violent protests and later say that it was the government”.
On Monday afternoon, Maduro, while addressing a large demonstration of motorbike riders for peace, said that authorities had “just captured a mercenary … in Aragua”.
“We confiscated eleven international phones from him. They were preparing to set up car bomb in order to bring about violence,” he said.
Cabello said the alleged mercenary was Jayssam Mokded, that he had large foreign bank accounts, and that he was being investigated.
Aragua governor, Tareck El Aissami said that Mokded was arrested early on Monday with “clear proof that he intended to commit terrorist acts”.
“Among the material confiscated from Jayssam Mokded, were documents that link him to a company in Miami,” El Aissami said.
The US government has now also ordered that three Venezuelan diplomats leave the country, including Marcos Garcia, the highest ranking official, and Luis Cajal Avalos and Victor Manuel Pisani Azpurua. This follows Venezuela’s expulsion of three US diplomats from Caracas last week for alleged “conspiracy”.
“Every struggle we fight we grow more and more… what Venezuela is going through, it’s not … a protest, it’s a continuous imperialist coup that wants to end with democracy. It’s an aggression by the extreme right,” Maduro said at the motorbike march.
“Peace with justice and equality will be our victory over the coup d’état that we are undoing, and we will win because of love for our homeland,” Maduro said through Twitter.