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Venezuela: Arrest warrant issued for Juan Guaido

October 6, 2023

An arrest warrant has been issued for Venezuela's former opposition leader Juan Guaido. The prosecutor's office said it would ask for interpol's help in his apprehension.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido delivers his accountability speech at a theater in Caracas.
Guaido had declared himself interim president of Venezuela in 2019Image: Gaby Oraa/REUTERS

The Venezuelan prosecutor's office on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for former opposition politician Juan Guaido.

Guaido — who is living in exile in the United States — is accused of treason, usurpation of functions, money laundering and association with a view to committing a crime, said Attorney General Tarek William Saab.

The prosecutor said "Guaido used the resources of PDVSA (the public oil giant) to cause losses close to or greater than $19 billion," adding that he relied on "revelations" provided to the press "by a federal court in the United States."

Authorities looking to Interpol for assistance

The Venezuelan government says it had 27 different probes of Guaido under way but this is the first time it has sought his arrest.

Prosecutors were appointed "to issue an arrest warrant against" Guaido and "to request a Red Notice from Interpol so that he pays for his crimes," Saab said.

In 2019, Guaido had declared himself interim president of Venezuela, pressuring the Latin American nation's authoritarian head of state Nicolas Maduro.

Dozens of  countries — including Germany and the US — supported Guaido's claim.

However, Guaido failed to dislodge Maduro from power and at the end of last year, the Venezuelan opposition deposed him  as interim president.

On Thursday, Guaido took to social media platform X and spoke of a "physical and moral" persecution of the opposition.

"The regime is attacking again, with one of its favorite weapons, the kidnapping of justice," Guaido said. 

dvv/kb (AFP, dpa)