• Arrest warrant against the team of Venezuelan opposition leader María Corina Machado

The Bolivarian revolution tightens the siege around María Corina Machado, determined to counteract at any cost the enormous popular support achieved by the new opposition leader. "In these hours the onslaught against Vente Venezuela (his party), against our teams and against members of the command is increasing brutally. They are attacking our headquarters, blocking bank accounts and threatening with arrest warrants citizens who only want change," Machado told supporters at a mass rally in Merida, in the Andean region of the oil-rich country.

The opposition leader's complaint comes hours after Roberto Abdul, president of the electoral NGO Súmate, was deprived of his liberty by decision of an anti-terrorist court that met inside the sinister Helicoide prison, headquarters of Nicolás Maduro's political police. Without his rights and without even his lawyer or his family.

"Roberto is an honest, detached, responsible and professional citizen who fulfills the activities inherent to the functions for which we were nominated," the National Primary Commission (CNP), of which Abdul was a member, said in a statement.

"He's being persecuted for having done an impeccable primary. They violated all his rights, prevented him from having his right to defense, to have his lawyers accompany him in a hearing and they secretly presented him in the SEBIN (Bolivarian Intelligence Service) itself where they have kidnapped him," said the leader of Vente Venezuela, founder of Súmate a couple of decades ago.

Both Abdul and the three members of Vente Venezuela pointed out by Maduro's prosecutor are accused of crimes of treason with the excuse of the patriotic referendum of the Essequibo and the warmongering escalation against Guyana, the scenario forced from the Miraflores Palace to justify its latest onslaught against Venezuelan democrats.

Henry Alviárez (national coordinator of Vente Venezuela), Claudia Macero (head of communication) and Pedro Urruchurtu (coordinator of international relations) remain sheltered in a European embassy in Caracas. "We don't leave people behind, in this team no one is left aside, we all go together. When they go against one, they go against all!" said Machado.

The Bolivarian power has another card up its sleeve against the opposition leader, which is the seizure of his party. This was announced by one of his allies, the false opponent Luis Ratti, who claimed to have put himself at the service of the affiliates of Vente Venezuela to initiate an "internal process of renewal and self-purification."

"Nicolás Maduro's regime is in a very bad way when they use characters like Ratti, a very small-time mercenary. Ratti is the ventriloquist's dummy," Perkins Rocha, a member of the executive board of Vente Venezuela, vehemently told El Mundo.

Maduro himself attacked Machado with particular viciousness during Friday's rally, which commemorated that 11 years earlier Hugo Chávez had chosen him as his successor. "Machado's traitor!" shouted the president in a festival of homophobic and misogynistic insults, especially against former candidate Henrique Capriles, who despite going to vote last Sunday called him the "failure of Capriloca." Against María Corina he called her "Machada".

The "son of Chavez" took advantage of the same political act to order his followers to pursue the alleged traitors to the homeland "in every street, in every community. Enough of the betrayals and the fifth column, of the corrupt caste of the far right!"

  • Venezuela
  • Nicolas Maduro