While the Government of Nicolás Maduro is looking for new scenarios for dialogue in Europe and is preparing to attend the visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, the Executive moves its cards to try to leave the Venezuelan opposition without oxygen on the domestic front and consolidate their positions of power. A total of 22 deputies of the National Assembly –what was declared in contempt by the chavismo in 2017–, including some substitutes, have had to ask for political asylum in embassies, have been imprisoned or exiled from the country. At the same time, on Monday, the regime has released parliamentarian Gilber Caro, who had been arrested on April 26.
Richard Blanco, one of the 14 deputies linked by the Venezuelan justice system to the failed plan of the Venezuelan opposition to force the resignation of Maduro, has fled to Colombia this Monday after spending more than a month refugee in the Embassy of Argentina in Caracas. "Nobody will silence me, that's why I decided to cross the border," posted on your Twitter account, With a photograph where you can see him walking down a path, as the informal steps are known.
Parliamentarians Tomás Guanipa and José Guerra, of Primero Justicia, and Liliana Hernández, of Un Nuevo Tiempo, have also left the country, after the political police took their residences. On them hangs a judicial sentence because they would be out of control of their parliamentary immunity. The Venezuelan Supreme Court has not yet issued any official statement on the matter.
Guanipa is secretary general of Primero Justicia and second leader of this party after Julio Borges, his general coordinator, who is exiled in Bogotá and is the representative of Guaidó before the Lima Group. Guerra is an economist with an active presence in the Venezuelan Parliament. The activist Liliana Hernandez maintains fluid relations with dissimilar opposition sectors and carries out important tasks in the logistics area.
Shortly before this political attack, the judicial system of Chavismo had already issued resolutions against parliamentarians Juan Andrés Mejías, Sergio Vergara, Carlos Paparoni, Américo de Grazia, María Magallanes and Edgar Zambrano, accused of being present with López and Guaidó during the offensive of the early morning of April 30. Miguel Pizarro, a young and charismatic First Justice deputy, whose whereabouts are unknown, has also been identified and is being sought.
De Grazia and Magallanes, militants of Causa Radical, a leftist party of union origin, requested asylum at the Italian Embassy in Caracas. Mejía, political secretary in charge of Voluntad Popular, is in hiding. The moderate social democrat Zambrano –of the few who maintained some personal relationships with Chavez leaders–, first vice president of the National Assembly and activist of Acción Democrática, has been taken to prison with a controversial procedure by which his car was towed by a crane, because he refused to surrender to the police.
In broader terms, the list of opposition leaders who have been repressed, imprisoned or forced to leave the country amounts, according to various sources consulted, to about 70 people. It includes such emblematic characters as Julio Borges, Antonio Ledezma, Carlos Vecchio, David Smolansky, Ramón Muchacho, Juan Requessens and Freddy Guevara; and to the deputies Ismael García, Gaby Arellano, Rosmit Mantilla, Simón Calzadilla, Adriana D'Elia, Dinorah Figuera, Freddy Superlano, José Manuel Olivares and Roberto Marrero, personal assistant of Juan Guaidó.
The harassment of the Maduro government has seriously damaged the leadership structure and the logistical apparatus of the Venezuelan opposition and Parliament, although some of its members maintain that the legislative quorum remains in force and that political initiatives can be continued.