BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - IN the wake of President Nicolás Maduro’s issuance of arrest orders for some 33 persons across various social sectors in Venezuela, the US Government is deeply concerned and warns that such actions are not in keeping with the “spirit and the letter of the Barbados Agreement”, which could have consequences.
A statement from the US State Department on Tuesday (Jan. 23), expressed that the Government is concern as Venezuela is currently in an election year where it is suspected that President Maduro is falling out of favour with the electorate.
“The United States is deeply concerned by the issuance of arrest orders and detentions against at least 33 Venezuelans, including members of the democratic opposition, civil society, former members of the military, and journalists,” the US government agency said in its press release.
“Arrests without due process run contrary to the spirit of the October 2023 electoral roadmap agreement signed between the Unitary Platform and representatives of Nicolás Maduro,” the statement added.
The actions of Maduro has rubbed many in the international arena the wrong way, as he has been unilaterally making decisions that impact many within the economically-challenged country, while also laying claims to two-thirds of neighbouring Guyana - inflaming a longstanding territorial dispute that was settled more than a century ago.
The State Department called “for the end of politically motivated harassment, including attacks upon opposition campaign offices and all efforts to stifle the democratic aspirations of the Venezuelan people through fear and intimidation”.
While pledging that the US continues to support the “Venezuelan people in their desire for a peaceful restoration of democracy”, the State Department said, “Actions that run counter to the spirit and the letter of the Barbados Agreement will have consequences.”
Reports out of Caracas noted that the office of the Opposition Leader was vandalized while members of civil society, journalists and members of the military were arrested, according to what media reports said were a plot against Maduro.
“We urge Maduro and his representatives to adhere to the electoral roadmap agreement, including by announcing a clear timeline for the 2024 presidential election, and to reinstate all political candidates,” the State Department said.