CARACAS ( Associated Press) – Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab announced Monday that he has requested the arrest of the new board of directors of the opposition National Assembly elected in 2015.
Saab indicated that arrest warrants have already been issued for Dinorah Figuera, Marianela Fernandez and Oristela Vasquez for the actions, sedition, and the crimes of money laundering and illegal collaboration.
The Public Ministry also requested a red alert from Interpol and the seizure of their assets, the blocking and freezing of accounts, and the disposal and confiscation of assets.
They also requested the arrest of José Figueredo Marquez, the secretary, and Luis Alberto Bustos, the undersecretary of the opposition assembly.
None of them are in Venezuela.
The United States Under Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Brian Nichols, commented on the arrest warrant on Twitter, assuring that his country was on the side of those defending Venezuela’s democracy. He said attacks on the opposition, including members of the assembly, stall a democratic solution. “All efforts must be focused on paving the way for free and fair elections in 2024,” he wrote.
President Nicolás Maduro responded to Nicolás’ comments, urging him to meet the National Assembly elected in 2020, headed by Jorge Rodríguez. He accused the Biden administration of not having enough “wisdom” and “courage” to recognize the failure of US policy toward Venezuela. “Trump’s policy against Venezuela failed, it crashed against the democratic functioning of this republic,” he said.
During his first press conference as president of the opposition assembly, Figuera announced that the prosecutor’s order reinforces the decision of the board of directors to remain in exile. “If they intend to act against the legitimate AN (National Assembly) directive, they will not be able to and we will continue to act with greater force,” he said.
The board of directors was appointed on 30 December after the former deputies of the opposition assembly voted in favor of the abolition of the interim government led by Juan Guaidó. He proposed, instead, creating a commission to manage the country’s assets abroad, maintaining ad hoc boards of the Central Bank of Venezuela and PDVSA, the state oil company that controls Houston-based refiner Citgo.
According to calculations given by Saab, the amount of assets and resources frozen, frozen or seized overseas could exceed US$30 billion.
The National Assembly, elected in 2015, is still functioning, although symbolically because according to Venezuelan law its term was to expire in 2021. However, opponents – many of them in exile – do not recognize the 2020 elections in which the government gained control of the National Assembly, headed by Jorge Rodríguez.
The United States Department of State’s Office of the Spokesperson issued a statement last Tuesday in which it recognized the assembly elected in 2015 as the sole legitimate body and supported its decision to abolish the interim government and create a commission. does. The United States does not recognize Nicolas Maduro as a lawful resident of Venezuela.
A Venezuelan prosecutor on Monday referred to the interim government as the worst organized crime mega-gang and stressed that the opposition used a political situation like Donald Trump’s presidency to create an unreal government and attack the Venezuelan state. taken advantage of. ,
Saab recalled that on January 23, 2019, former deputy Juan Guaidó declared himself interim President of Venezuela in a public act. Subsequently, Guaidó was recognized as the legitimate President of Venezuela by approximately 60 countries, relying heavily on the United States government, which guaranteed him access to Venezuelan assets such as Citgo and Monomeros, which had recently was recovered by the Venezuelan government.
Minutes later, the president of the 2020 National Assembly, Jorge Rodríguez, who was re-elected on 5 January, held a press conference in which he described the opposition National Assembly of 2015 as a “gang of thieves”. and welcomed arrest requests issued by the Ministry of Public Affairs.
Rodríguez lamented the sums managed by the ousted interim government and asserted that the assembly elected in 2015 is perpetuated by the “arrogance” of the US government.