WASHINGTON – The United States Department of State called it illegal on Saturday to arrest opposition legislator Juan Requesens – accused in the attack on Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro – adding that the move is the latest example of human rights abuses.
“#Maduro and his secret police continue to disregard the rule of law in their arrest and illegal detention of constitutionally elected National Assembly member @JuanRequesens. Latest example in a long litany of #HumanRights abuses,” the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Francisco Palmieri, tweeted Saturday night.
The Venezuelan government has accused Requesens of complicity in the alleged drone attack that occurred last week while Maduro was giving a speech during an event celebrating the 81st anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard (Venezuelan military police).
Requesens was arrested on Tuesday along with his sister, Rafaela, by officials of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN).
The Venezuelan Minister of Communication and Information, Jorge Rodriguez, at a press conference on Friday presented a video in which Requesens appears to be allegedly confessing to participating in the failed assassination plot at the request of the former president of the Venezuelan National Assembly Julio Borges, exiled in Colombia.
In this video, he claims to have coordinated the entry into Venezuela of Juan Monasterios, also arrested for the attack.
The video was intended to demonstrate the involvement of Borges in the assassination attempt and Venezuela is seeking his arrest from Interpol.
The family of Requesens has rejected the video and his sister has pointed out to the possibility of him being drugged or tortured to coerce him into making those incriminating statements.