Venezuela detains US citizen suspected of inciting anti-government protests


An armed 32-year-old Florida citizen suspected of organizing protests against Nicolas Maduro’s government was detained Tuesday by Venezuelan authorities on the border of Techira, Venezuela’s Telesur Channel reported. Techira’s Governor Jose Vielma Mora in a press release Tuesday revealed the name of the arrested man and said that he had been living in the capital of Techira, San Cristebal, for two months.

The suspect entered the country legally on his real passport, Mora specified. Venezuela’s law enforcement officials suspect the detained of links with those inciting violence in the country aiming to topple the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

During the arrest the authorities confiscated several rifles, including one with a telescopic sight, and two handguns.

The Governor said that one of the guns was linked to the shooting of a local man.

Venezuela has been swept by anti-government demonstrations that, according to recent data, have claimed the lives of 41 people since mid-February.

Over 670 people have been injured and 175 detained on various charges during the ongoing tensions.

The Venezuelan government has consistently accused the US of fomenting violence in the country.

Earlier this month President Maduro said that America was using street protests in Venezuela to attempt a “slow-motion” coup similar to the one that resulted in the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February.

The US denies any involvement in the ongoing protests and says Venezuela is waging a terror campaign against its own citizens.


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