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Maduro’s “Anti-Coup Command” Arrests Five New Political Prisoners

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Jan 12, 2017, 4:06 pm
Maduro's new anti-coup unit has rounded up a new round of political prisoners (
Maduro’s new anti-coup unit has rounded up a new round of political prisoners (PanAm Post).

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Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro‘s newly created “Anti-Coup Command” led by newly appointed Vice President Tareck El Aissami, has recently detained a deputy with parliamentary immunity, three opposition councilors, and revoked the parole of an ex-political prisoner.

On Thursday, January 12, the Minister of Interior, Justice, and Peace, Néstor Reverol, confirmed the arrest of the Zulia councilmen Jorge González and Romer Ángel Rubio Flores for their alleged participation in a destabilizing plot related to supporting former Maracaibo mayor and presidential candidate Manuel Rosales.

According to the opposition party Primero Justicia, they were “kidnapped” by the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin).

The Anti-coup Command also detained deputy Gilber Caro, who was arrested in the central state of Carabobo. Vice President El Aissami says that the legislator had been making “terrorist plans.”

The first vice-president of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Diosdado Cabello, said that the deputy’s arrest “is an achievement of the Anti-Coup Command.”

Cabello claimed that Caro was arrested because he was found to have “terrorist plans” for carrying out “the rescue” of Leopoldo López during the opposition march which has been called for January 23.

Néstor Reverol, on the other  hand, alleged that deputy Gilber Caro was involved in organizing units linked to Colombian paramilitary cells.

Nevertheless, Freddy Guevara, leader of the opposition Popular Will party, of which Caro is also a member, assured that the incident was a “false arrest.”

Guevara added that Caro has parliamentary immunity, so according to the Constitution, he must be brought before the Venezuelan National Assembly in order to decide whether or not his immunity should be withdrawn.

Social media networks also reported the arrest of councilman Roniel Farías, although no official information on his whereabouts is yet available.

Also in custody was General Raul Baduel. Considered a “political prisoner” by the opposition, Baduel was paroled on August 12, 2015, after serving six years of a seven years and 11 month sentence in a military prison for alleged corruption offenses.

The retired general led a military operation that restored Chávez to power following a coup that briefly removed him from power in April 2002. However, Baduel ended up opposing Chavez. Military intelligence agents arrested him in 2009 and he was convicted for corruption in 2010.

Source: Sumarium, El Nacional

Sabrina Martín Sabrina Martín

Sabrina Martín is a Venezuelan journalist, commentator, and editor based in Valencia with experience in corporate communication. Follow @SabrinaMartinR.

Investors Flee Mexican Financial Markets as Peso Plunges

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Jan 12, 2017, 3:11 pm
Trump's proposed trade policies have led to a steep decline in the Mexican peso over the past two months (

Español Investors are abandoning Mexico's financial markets, as Mexico's peso reaches historic lows with the dollar due to sharp depreciation following President-elect Donald Trump's announcement of trade and immigration policy plans to implement with the Aztec nation. The peso reached a new historic low against the dollar on Wednesday after Trump's first post-election press conference, and officials from the Central Bank of Mexico (Banxico) reported spending USD $2 billion to stop the free fall of the Mexican currency, which has weakened about 16% since the US presidential elections on November 8. Read More: Mexican Peso Continues to Crumble Following Resignation of Central Bank Head Read More: Mexican Peso Devaluation Boosts Remittances from United States The investor flight is largely due to fears about jeopardizing the economic advances that Mexico has made in the last 20 years, which could be dramatically affected by the tariffs and border control measures that the Trump administration is likely to impose. "A renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would basically annihilate Mexico's growth model," said Juan Carlos Rodado, director of Latin American research at investment bank Natixis, who added, "That would be catastrophic for investor confidence." 80% of Mexico's exports go to the United States and almost 30% of Mexico's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from trade with the United States, so the implications for its economy in the wake of Trump's trade policies are certain to be far-reaching. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); "If tariffs are imposed, Mexican exporters will be less profitable," said Alberto Ramos, Latin American chief economist at Goldman Sachs, while Luis de la Calle, Mexico's former trade representative, said, "Trump is manipulating the currency of Mexico through his tweets, against the interests of the United States." According to Natixis data, foreign investors have reduced their holdings in Mexican assets by 11.3% in December, the biggest monthly decline in percentage terms in almost a decade. Rodado anticipates that Mexico's economy could contract up to 3.3% in 2017 if the United States imposes strict trade conditions, a stunning downturn in contrast to the Mexican economy's 2.1% growth in 2016. The relationship between Mexico and the United States is very different from thatof 1995 when the United States coordinated a USD $50 billion rescue package for the Mexican economy, after a poorly managed peso depreciation plan led the Aztec country into a recession. Source: La Prensa

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