Venezuelan Regime Takes another Political Prisoner from Opposition Party

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Jul 14, 2017, 10:31 am
carlos graffe - preso politico
“Help me, it’s a kidnapping!” Graffe shouted while being forced from his vehicle. The military officials responsible had an emblem from Valencia, in the state of Carabobo. (Twitter)

EspañolVenezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has taken a new political prisoner: Carlos Graffe, a youth leader of the opposition party Popular Will. This week, state security forces arbitrarily arrested him without warrant.

“Help me, it’s a kidnapping!” Graffe shouted while being forced from his vehicle. The military officials responsible had an emblem from Valencia, in the state of Carabobo.

They have just kidnapped our brother @CarlosGraffe in #Valencia #Carabobo. We demand to know where he is being taken. #WhereIsCarlosGraffe #LibertyNOW

Graffe has been fighting for democracy in Venezuela for over 10 years, serving most recently as a leader of the opposition movement Popular Will, the party founded by former political prisoner Leopoldo López.

#URGENT they have kidnapped the leader of Voluntad Popular, 
@carlosgraffe as he was coming out of a doctor’s appointment in a Clinic in Valencia, Venezuela. 

Gaffe’s father Oswaldo said he was very upset to hear the news, not only because Carlos is his son but because it reveals the dire political circumstances of the country.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if the Carabobo government is behind all of this,” he said.

According to his father, Carlos had recently left a doctor’s appointment when he was intercepted by military officials, but not even he knows what happened after that.

BREAKING NEWS Mother of Carlos Graffe asks for proof of life from the Maduro administration: “He was kidnapped by the dictatorship” #13Jul

His mother has been visiting all police facilities, Oswaldo said, but hasn’t learned anything.

Oswaldo condemned the Carabobo police for their actions if it was in fact them, and insisted through his Twitter account that Carlos had been taken at gunpoint.

“The only weapons that Carlos uses are his conscience, his democratic principles, his tenacity, and … a megaphone. Those are the weapons that he has used all his life,” he said.

“Carlos Graffe is a political prisoner, he has been fighting for the freedom of this country for more than 10 years, he has been working hard, especially in the poorest areas of Valencia. He has raised awareness and that is why he is in prison. He is a young leader, and credible,” his father continued.

With his voice cracking and tears in his eyes, Oswaldo urged all Venezuelans to participate in the referendum this Sunday, July 16.

“Carlos has been working for a long time to create a country of opportunity for everyone,” he said. “This Sunday, this important event will bring us closer to reaching that dreams … the best favor we can do for him would be a massive turn out.”

Sabrina Martín Sabrina Martín

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

Former Peruvian President Humala and Wife Spend their First Night in Jail awaiting Trial for Money Laundering

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Jul 14, 2017, 10:05 am

EspañolFormer Peruvian President Ollanta Humala and his wife Nadine Heredia have finished their first night in prison after turning themselves in for 18 months of pre-trial detention on Thursday, July 13. Huamala, who served as President from 2011 until 2016, is accused of money laundering charges alongside his wife. Because the potential sentence could be longer than four years, a judge ruled there was significant reason to believe the couple may try to flee the country. Huamala and his wife said they have complied with every step of the process — even handing over their passports — which makes the pre-trial detention not only unnecessary, but also an "abuse of power." Tweet: This confirms an abuse of power, which we will face in defense of our rights and the rights of all." "In every moment we've shown our roots and good will," he said. "But the prosecutor sees everything we do in the opposite light. I think he's been poisoned." "They're not fleeing," added their lawyer Wilfredo Pedraza. "They never intended to flee." Humala and Heredia allegedly received campaign contribution from the Peruvian Nationalist Party in 2006 and 2011 that prosecutors said can be traced back to the Venezuelan construction company OAS and the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. Read More: Tension over Ecuadorian Border Wall Rises as Peru Summons Ambassador Read More: Peru President Calls Venezuelan Crisis “Number One Issue in the Americas "Here's a president who rose to the presidency and governed us with an electoral campaign built on illicit money," Prosecutor German Juarez said. "That’s serious because it morally wounds society." Humala has also been accused of taking money from former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. During the hearing, the prosecution introduced suitcases of money sent from the Venezuelan embassy as new evidence for trial. It's only one of two suitcases of money the couples allegedly received form Venezuelan contacts. Source: La República, Reuters, Al Jazeera 

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