5 dead, 233 arrested in Venezuela protests against Nicolas Maduro

May 07 2019 10:04 AM
5 dead, 233 arrested in Venezuela protests against Nicolas Maduro

On Monday, Five people died and 233 were arrested in protests sparked by a failed military uprising against Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro last week, Attorney General Tarek William Saab said. "All those cases are being investigated," Saab said in an exclusive interview.

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On April 30, a small number of military personnel joined opposition leader Juan Guaido outside an air base in the capital Caracas calling on those inside to join the rebellion. The insurrection quickly petered out, though, and 25 rebel soldiers sought refuge in the Brazilian embassy.

According to the sources, 18 arrest warrants were issued against "civilians and military plotters," although he gave no names.

On Monday, during a television interview with AFP, Guaido blamed the failure on unkept promises by other members of the armed forces. Maduro has threatened to go after "traitors" after crisis-wracked Venezuela's military leadership reaffirmed its loyalty to the socialist president.

Last week Venezuela's Supreme Court ordered the re-arrest of key opposition figure Leopoldo Lopez, who made a sensational appearance alongside Guaido outside the air base claiming to have been released from house arrest by soldiers.

Lopez's wife Lilian Tintori on Wednesday claimed their Caracas home had been broken into and ransacked while she was out. Venezuela lurched into a political crisis in January when National Assembly speaker Guaido challenged Maduro's authority by declaring himself acting president.

Venezuela has suffered five years of recession that has seen more than 2.7 million people flee poverty and insecurity since 2015, according to United Nations figures. Of the 30 million people left behind, the UN says almost a quarter are in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

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