Two mayors, two prosecutors and two chavismo deputies are imprisoned accused of drug trafficking and corruption in Venezuela | International

The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, last week in Caracas.
The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, last week in Caracas.Rayner Peña R (EFE)

The Venezuelan authorities announced the arrest of two deputies and two mayors, belonging to the official United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), accused of crimes of corruption and drug trafficking, and two prosecutors from the Public Ministry, along with other workers of the state-owned Petróleos of Venezuela, for being part of a network of gasoline traffickers. The arrests respond to an anti-corruption initiative called Operation Iron Handwhich has been highly commented these days by President Nicolás Maduro, and by other leaders of the Bolivarian revolution, such as Diosdado Cabello, Tarek El Aissami and Jorge Rodríguez.

The government has hinted that it is a large-scale, ongoing operation that seeks to combat the entrenched mafias in the Venezuelan state that traffic in gasoline and illicit substances in some areas of the country. These groups have been blamed for causing shortages of certain goods in the past.

The prosecuted mayor is Keyrineth Fernández, from the Jesús María Semprún municipality, and with her two deputies, Taína González and Luis Viloria. Fernández is a young indigenous leader from Zulia State with a committed and intransigent political discourse. The Bolivarian National Police informed her after arresting her that she was carrying six kilos of cocaine. Some informative versions have denounced that Fernández had already been singled out for these causes in the past and despite that she was free. The three are accused of being part of a drug trafficking network that operated between the western states of Zulia and Falcón.

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Tarek El Aissami, current Minister of Petroleum -former Minister of the Interior and criminal lawyer-, is in charge of this operation and has declared that the Maduro government “had been working for several months” to find the threads of this organization. “We present this harsh blow to the people to make it clear that corrupt officials who were elected by sovereign will will not be accepted or given a truce,” he added.

For his part, the Attorney General of the Chavista regime, Tarek William Saab, announced the arrest of Jorge Peña, Superior Prosecutor of the Delta Amacuro state, and Manoel Gil Da Silva, Superior Prosecutor of the Bolívar State, in the east and south east of the country, accused , together with the mayor of the Independencia municipality, Carlos Vidal, of trafficking and smuggling gasoline, a scarce commodity in Maduro’s Venezuela in recent years. Juan Carlos Barragán, a Petroleos de Venezuela worker, was also arrested in the operation.

“The PSUV condemns in an absolute, clear, diaphanous, total manner, any act of deviation from revolutionary values, especially when these acts have to do with acts of corruption, drug trafficking, organized crime,” Diosdado Cabello declared in turn. , number two of the Chavista regime and vice president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Cabello has confirmed that these people have been expelled from the organization.

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The worsening of corruption as an endemic evil in Venezuela has been one of the arguments most used by the Venezuelan opposition when it comes to diagnosing the causes of the collapse of the Venezuelan economy and the failure of the Chavista development model. Typically, the Bolivarian leadership does not respond to these accusations. The tone of some high-ranking Chavismo leaders these days, however, indicates that this operation is underway and that more people, political leaders or officials involved in serious crimes may fall.

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“If we hunt down any other deputy, he will not need an astral chart to know his future,” Jorge Rodríguez, president of the National Assembly and a trusted man of Nicolás Maduro, declared in a speech broadcast by the state channel Venezolana de Televisión. “I’m going to tell him once and for all: he’ll go to jail if he turns into a sickening traitor.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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