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Venezuela: another member of María Corina Machado's team is detained

With this case, up to 37 activists have suffered arbitrary arrests this year in the middle of the campaign. The opposition leader maintained that the dictatorship intends to criminalize dissidence and its attempt to achieve political change.

Venezuela: la tiranía de Maduro secuestra y ordena la captura de casi todo el equipo de la líder opositora María Corina Machado

La líder opositora María Corina Machado. (AFP)

María Corina Machado, leader of the Venezuelan opposition, denounced the arrest of another member of her team. This time it is the journalist Gabriel González. With this case, up to 37 activists, according to Machado, have suffered arbitrary arrests this year in the midst of the campaign for the July 28 elections.

"What we are experiencing these hours in Venezuela is the regime criminalizing the electoral route, criminalizing the electoral activity and the campaign, so far this year there are 37 leaders political and social leaders who have been detained by tyranny" Machado told reporters during a press conference.

Of this figure, 20 of them are directly linked to this campaign command: 10 are detained and six under the protection of the Argentine Embassy.

"Today two young people who were working at this headquarters in the activities of the campaign command went out to buy something for lunch nearby and were intercepted, detained and taken to El Helicoide. They are being linked to a file in which they are accused of inciting hatred and association to commit a crime for the simple fact of accompanying our candidate Edmundo González to an activity in Vargas (La Guaira state)," explained Machado.

El Helicoide is a feared intelligence service prison in Caracas, which human rights organizations describe as the largest torture center in the region.

Machado, a favorite in the polls but disqualified by the official Comptroller's Office, nominated diplomat Edmundo González Urrutia as her replacement to confront Maduro. The opposition has been denouncing political persecution of its leaders and activists that has also included closures and fines to hotels and restaurants that have provided services to Machado and her team.