Report from Panamá: Venezuelan Government Issues Arrest Order Against Capriles

Apr 17, 2013
12:51 am

The situation in Venezuela has quickly gotten complicated as a report out of Panamá through Spain’s ABC is saying that the Venezuelan government has now issued an arrest order against Henrique Capriles, the opposition candidate who lost a narrow election to Nicolás Maduro, the country’s new president. This week, Capriles and his supporters have been demanding for a recount and have also alleged through social media that Maduro and his supporters have massively rigged the election. It has led to protests against Maduro, who has called such protests “illegal.”

“The U.S. Embassy is the one who has financed and directed all the acts of violence in this country. It has financed these neo-Nazi groups,” Maduro said in a CNN report.


According to Panamá’s Crítica, Venezuela’s Attorney General indicated that charges were made calling for the arrest of Capriles and other opposition members. The charges include incitement to commit delinquencies and conspiracies, incitement to cause distress to the population, the obstruction of public roads, and the killings that occurred on Monday during the protests.

The article also indicated that Maduro himself approved the order. This was in line with the warning that Maduro gave on television Tuesday. “It works like this: the prosecution made ​​the accusation to a court and the Supreme Court receives a call instructing the court how to act,” Maduro said.

The arrest order is based on Articles 285 and 292 of the country’s penal code, which refer to incitement to delinquencies and conspiracies, respectively. According to the report, the first article carries a sentence of three to six years, and the the second article carries a time of six months to a year.

In the meantime, Capriles’ Twitter profile has been active all day long. Here were the last three tweets his profile shared today, from oldest to newest:

“The government ordered tonight an armed group wearing our colors to break car windows, attack people, generate violence. Please RT”

“The illegitimate one talks about love, about non-violence, and he ordered to attack my official residence as Governor of Miranda in Los Teques, where I will be.”

“Anything that happens to me at the Official Residency at Los Teques, I will hold Nicolás Maduro responsible.”

In the meantime, additional tweets from the profile of Leopoldo López, the coordinator of Nacional Popular, are claiming that an order was issued and that that López has proof.

“Not a rumor! My sources confirmed that orders have been issued against me and Capriles. I denounce this persecution before the country and the world!”

“Here is the signed order that they have sent me.”

The latest reports come after tensions in Venezuela have led to violent protests. As Reuters reports:

Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles distanced himself from post-election street violence after seven fatalities threatened to turn the South American OPEC nation’s vote dispute into a full-blown crisis.

Capriles had planned to lead a march on the National Electoral Council (CNE) on Wednesday to demand a recount after official results gave a narrow win to Nicolas Maduro, the chosen successor of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

But the opposition leader canceled the rally on Tuesday, saying the government had plotted to “infiltrate” it, start trouble and blame it on him.

“To all my followers … this is a peaceful quarrel. Whoever is involved in violence is not part of this project, is not with me,” Capriles told reporters. “It is doing me harm.”

The government earlier said seven people were killed on Monday and accused Capriles’ supporters of attacking ruling Socialist Party offices and people celebrating Maduro’s victory.

Maduro earlier accused the opposition of trying to trigger a coup d’etat and said he would not allow the planned march to go ahead. His government is threatening legal action against Capriles.

About 135 people were arrested and more than 60 hurt during Monday’s violent clashes, including one woman whom a mob tried to burn alive, officials said.