CARACAS – The Venezuelan government released on Friday a video in which legislator Juan Requesens is heard confessing that he helped one of the perpetrators of the attempted attack on the country’s president enter the country.
The Venezuelan opposition has said this alleged material evidence of the confession was made under coercion.
The Venezuelan Minister of Communication and Information, Jorge Rodriguez, showed at a press conference the video in which Requesens, detained since Tuesday, “confesses his complicity in the frustrated assassination attempt,” according to Rodriguez, declaring that he arranged for the entry into the country of Juan Monasterios, who has been arrested.
“I contacted him – Monasterios – through messenger. I was in San Cristobal (on the border with Colombia). Once I wrote to Mauricio Jimenez, Colombian immigration supervisor, and I made the request, he immediately put them in touch with Juan Monasterios to give him passage from San Antonio to Cucuta,” Requesens appeared to be saying in the video.
Requesens also stated that he executed these actions after the former president of the Venezuelan National Assembly and opposition legislator Julio Borges, accused of being one of the masterminds of the attack, asked him for a favor.
According to Rodriguez, this makes Requesens an important accomplice in the operation over which there have been at least seven arrests made and 19 others have been identified.
“He reports and confesses that he did it on the orders of Julio Borges,” Rodriguez emphasized, announcing that Venezuela has applied for Interpol’s Red Notice against Borges, who is in Colombia.
After showing the video, Rodriguez reiterated that Jimenez is a “customs official of the former government of Juan Manuel Santos” and said he has records of countless meetings between Borges and the former Colombian president.
He also reported that they are seeking a Red Notice for Osman Alexis Delgado Tabosky and Rayder Alexander Russo Marquez, both accused of funding the attack and are currently in Colombia and the United States, respectively, as well as for all those who have any responsibility in the assassination attempt.
The video was repudiated by the opposition, arguing that the material was obtained under coercion and cruel treatment.
“Recent dissemination of images and videos from the SEBIN (Venezuela’s Bolivarian Service for National Intelligence), confirm that Juan Requesens has been subjected to coercion, cruel and inhumane treatment,” said a message on Requesen’s Twitter account that is managed by his communications team.
Last Saturday, two drones exploded at an event led by President Nicolas Maduro, leading him to call it an attack on him and accused the outgoing president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, of being involved.