Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has attributed the agreement announced Saturday between the United States and the Venezuelan government for the release of two nephews of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s wife in exchange for seven Americans to the Venezuelan leader seeking “simply the benefit of his entourage.”
“Once again Maduro’s dictatorship evidences that he is not interested in Venezuelans, but simply in the benefit of his entourage by asking drug traffickers in exchange for hostages,” Guaidó posted on his Twitter account. “It is ratified that in Venezuela operates a criminal system that threatens the hemisphere,” he reiterated.
Guaidó, self-proclaimed president in charge of Venezuela and recognized as such by the United States, has released an official statement from his presidential office in which he points out that this agreement “proves once again that in Venezuela operates a criminal regime, linked to drug trafficking.”
The opposition thus recalls that the two released from prison by the United States are Franqui Flores and Efraín Antonio Campo Flores, sentenced to 18 years in prison in the United States of which they have served 7. “Today we learned that the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro exchanged these two Venezuelan criminals for 7 American hostages that he was holding hostage”, it has pointed out.
Guaidó and his entourage thus consider the release of Flores and Campo as a “sovereign decision” of Washington “in which the Venezuelan caretaker government had nothing to do with.”
“The release of seven Americans kidnapped by the Maduro dictatorship is good news for their families. No one deserves to live the hell that millions of Venezuelans live under a regime that systematically and massively violates their human rights. As the UN has pointed out, Maduro directly orders crimes against humanity in Venezuela,” added the note from the body led by Guaidó.
The “dictatorship” led by Maduro “in addition to being a threat to the security of people of any nationality in the country, is a risk for the entire region and the hemisphere,” the note from Guaidó’s office has argued.
Another opponent, Diego Arria, has criticized the agreement for being a “criminal business” and has stressed that Washington has negotiated this agreement with a “usurper regime” that his own U.S. administration does not recognize.
“They are doing it with a person who, according to the US justice system, has committed criminal acts and for whom a reward of 15 million dollars was offered”, Arria has argued in an interview with the Venezuelan newspaper ‘El Nacional’.
For the former governor of Caracas, “this type of exchanges with criminals” does not come as a surprise, since it is a move that governments have frequently made. However, he emphasized that in the case of the United States it calls the attention due to the fact that they have boasted that the judicial power is independent from the Executive.