White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday that the US government is “deeply concerned” by the arrest of activist and security analyst Rocio San Miguel in Caracas, Venezuela.
“This is a time when Mr. Maduro needs to meet the commitments that he made about how they’re going to treat civil society, political activists and opposition parties … I won’t go speculating about what happened here and what we might do as a result, but I can tell you we’re watching very closely,” Kirby also said.
San Miguel, a dual Venezuelan-Spanish citizen who runs an NGO specializing in security matters and an expert on the Venezuelan military, was detained on Friday at Maiquetia International Airport together with five relatives, her lawyer Juan Luis Gonzalez told CNN en Español on Monday.
On Tuesday, Venezuela’s Attorney General Tarek William Saab announced on X that San Miguel had been charged overnight with treason, conspiracy, terrorism and criminal association as part of an investigation into the “White Bracelet” plot.
“White Bracelet” is the name of an alleged plot to kill President Nicolas Maduro that the Venezuelan government denounced in January, and for which it has presented no evidence.
San Miguel’s ex-husband Alejandro Gonzales was also charged with revealing military secrets, while four other citizens were released, Saab said.
In recent weeks, several civilians and military personnel have been detained as part of the investigation, including at least three members of the opposition political party Vente Venezuela.
This week, the UN High Commission for Human Rights, the Interamerican Commission of Human Rights and Amnesty International have all expressed concern over San Miguel’s arrest.
In response to Kirby’s remarks, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yvan Gil accused the United States of “plotting to murder Maduro, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino and Tachira State Governor Freddy Bernal.”
“The US government supports terrorists who have confessed their crimes and the orders they received to attack our people. They are complicit in (terrorism) and interventionist actions against Venezuela,” Gil wrote on X.
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