- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The former chief of Venezuela’s secret police, Gen. Manuel Cristopher Figuera, has arrived in the U.S., almost two months after Vice President Mike Pence announced that the sanctions against him would be lifted after he opted to break from the regime in May.

U.S. special envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams confirmed Gen. Figuera’s arrival during a press conference Tuesday. Mr. Abrams said that although President Nicolas Maduro’s former police chief is in the U.S. as a free man, he hopes to speak with him in person.

Support of the Venezuelan military is central to Mr. Maduro’s grip on the South American nation, which is suffering from a lack of food and reliable electricity despite its oil resources. Gen. Figuera’s arrival signals a potential for more high-level military officers to abandon the socialist president, U.S. officials hope.

“I thought I would be able to make Maduro see sense. I couldn’t,” Gen. Figuera said in an interview with the Washington Post published Monday. “There are many people there who are innocent, and I owe them. I didn’t do enough.”

During Tuesday’s briefing, Mr. Abrams said the Maduro regime likely still fears another coup after an annual military parade marking Venezuela’s independence that was supposed to take place yesterday was postponed.

Maduro was afraid to permit the military parade because he has so little faith,” Mr. Abrams said.

Mr. Abrams reaffirmed the U.S.’ commitment to opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has declared himself Venezuela’s interim president and demanded Mr. Maduro step said. Mr. Abrams insisted the crisis remains a top priority for President Trump, despite concerns the president has failed to focus on the stalemate in Caracas in recent weeks.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide