Family members and lawyers, together with leaders, parliamentarians and activists of Voluntad Popular, went this Saturday to the headquarters of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin) in El Helicoide to demand information about the whereabouts of National Assembly deputy Gilber Caro and journalist Victor Ugas, who have been held hostage by Nicolas Maduro’s regime for 24 hours.
Adriana Pichardo, also a member of the National Assembly and head of the Committee for the Liberation of Political Prisoners of Voluntad Popular, explained that Caro and Ugas are still in a situation of forced disappearance after being held by a joint commission of officials from the Special Action Forces of the Bolivarian National Police (FAES), the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin) and the National Guard.
“This fact violates the parliamentary immunity of Deputy Gilber Caro, who holds all his attributes as principal deputy. He had told us days ago that he was being followed, but Gilber has nothing to hide. His work is clear: he has been accompanying us to demand the freedom of political prisoners and denouncing the conditions in which common prisoners are held in this country’s prisons”.
In Pichardo’s opinion, with this type of outrage Maduro’s dictatorship seeks to break the conscience and sow fear in the rest of the deputies of the National Parliament so that on January 5th they will oppose the re-election of Juan Guaidó as president of the National Assembly and interim president of Venezuela.
“Don’t come with a pot (sham charges), don’t even think about planting weapons on either Caro or Ugas, because witnesses saw that they were walking around with nothing in their hands. They tell us that they were put into a warehouse near where they were arrested and made to leave with some boxes containing alleged explosives. What they did not achieve with Operation Scorpion, they want to achieve with these actions to break the Assembly, but they are not going to achieve it.”
For her part, attorney Ana Leonor Acosta, a member of the Coalition for Human Rights and Democracy, warned that the regime has notably increased persecution against deputies and journalists in the country. “We denounce the persecution of deputies and journalists in Venezuela. This case is an arbitrary detention, since it was not made on the basis of national and international standards and violates due process. We have not been able to communicate with the victims, we do not know how they are or how they have been treated”.
Finally, Gilber Caro’s sister, Yeidy Caro, urged the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to speak out against the kidnapping of Caro and Ugas. She also confirmed that her family is standing firm despite the abuses of the dictatorship.
“Our family is loyal to Leopoldo López, who believed in Gilber when no one else did, and to the struggle that my brother has led for years. I am a witness that they have been following him for days. The only thing left for Maduro is the use of force to try to break the people, but they are not going to succeed. Caro’s and Ugas’ families hold the regime responsible for their lives and everything that might happen to them.”