EspañolWithout knowing the crimes alleged against him, the general director of the Venezuelan Federation of Liquor Producers (Fevelif) was arrested on Friday, July 24. According to local media, Fray Roa could appear in court on Monday, July 27.
While there remains no stated justification for the arrest, Venezuelans haven’t failed to notice that it occurred right after Roa shared revelations with journalist Gabriela Frías on her television program Global Portfolio, broadcast on CNN en Español.
Fray Roa declaró la emergencia del sector licorero y se lo llevó el Sebin. Lo mismo hicieron una vez con un médico.
¿Eso qué resuelve?
— Luis Carlos Díaz (@LuisCarlos) July 25, 2015
“Fray Roa reported the emergency that the distillation sector in Venezuela is facing; now the SEBIN have taken him away. They did the same with a doctor. What does that solve?”
Lo de Fray Roa se une a larga serie de detenciones injustificadas: Econoinvest, Farmatodo, Día a Día, etc, etc
— Henkel Garcia (@HenkelGarcia) July 25, 2015
“Fray Roa’s case joins a long line of unjustified arrests: Econoinvest, Farmatodo, Día a Día, etc.”
The industry representative complained about the lack of raw materials for the production of beer and malt in the country. Moreover, the businessman took the opportunity to announce a “zero-hour” (planned strike) to protest the critical situation Venezuelan liquor producers are facing.
Roa reported that the perilously low stocks of beer would only last until the first week of August, and explained that this is largely due to the non-payment of US$2.7 billion that the regime owes the brewing industry.
Furthermore, Roa mentioned other factors that undermine the industry, such as a 68 percent higher tax burden to be paid prior to the sale of the product. He also alluded to the tendency of the Interior Ministry to reduce opening hours for liquor stores, alongside a ballooning black market for illegal beverages that avoid both taxes and price controls.
On July 25, the Venezuelan Federation of Liquor Producers condemned the arrest of their chief spokesman, and reiterated through a statement their call for the “zero-hour” protest.