Venezuela: Maduro Alleges Intelligence Agents Defied Orders amid Protest Violence


Yesterday, under the weight of evidence, government officials of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) admitted to the presence of agents of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN) at the rally held by the opposition on Wednesday. This resulted in three deaths and dozens of wounded protesters.

PSUV leader, Aristóbulo Istúriz, said President Nicolás Maduro will surely punish those who did not comply with the emergency order for the intelligence agents to retreat. According Istúriz, “Maduro gave the order: we will fall back.”

With regard to violent events during the march last Wednesday, the president admitted that “there was a group of agents from SIBEN who did not comply with the orders from the director to stay inside and not go into the streets . . . Those were the orders we had; the only police that should have been on the streets containing the violence were the National Police and the National Guard (military police) behind them.”

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Maduro has led initial measures with the dismissal of the general director of SEBIN, General Gregorio Manuel Bernal Martinez, who was appointed to the office on January 19. Martínez did not last a month as chief.

With regard to the aggressive actions by police toward demonstrators, the president said that police officers had “very clear” instructions to respect their human rights — but, he added, “We must consider what it is to respect someone’s human rights who is throwing a Molotov, who is shooting at you, and throwing rocks.”

Source: El Tiempo.

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