BREAKING NEWS: Venezuelan President Claims U.S. Pilot, 6 U.S. Nationals, Arrested For Espionage — Claims Pilot Was Recruiting Citizens To Stage A Coup

BREAKING NEWS: Venezuelan President Claims U.S. Pilot, 6 U.S. Nationals, Arrested For Espionage — Claims Pilot Was Recruiting Citizens To Stage A Coup

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Various news outlets are reporting this morning that Venezuela has arrested a U.S. pilot that they claim was attempting to recruit citizens to stage a coup against Venezuelan President Nicolas Mudaro. President Mudaro issued a public statement (that was required to be carried on nationwide television) claiming the U.S. pilot — who “had Latino roots,” — “was part of a group of six U.S. nationals arrested in the state of Tachira, near the Colombian border, in the last few days.” Addressing a rally Saturday, President Maduro said “the man, [the U.S.pilot], “had all kinds of documents and, was being interrogated by authorities. Material found in the pilots possession “suggested he was involved in espionage, and recruitment.” A U.S. embassy spokesman in Caracas, the nation’s capital, said he was unable to comment, citing any lack of any diplomatic communication with the Venezuelan government. During his television address, President Maduro urged that there “be changes in regulating diplomats be implemented immediately — within the limits of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. If implemented, U.S. diplomats would be required to seek approval from Venezuelan’s Foreign Ministry for meetings they conduct in the country, all U.S. citizens would be required to carry visas, and the U.S. embassy staff, which numbers about 100, would be required to downsize to the number of Venezuelan diplomats at the country’s embassy in Washington D.C., which numbers seventeen. “Moreover,” according to CNN, “a group of prominent U.S. officials — both current and retired — would be banned from entering Venezuela; because of what President Maduro said was “their involvement in bombing Iraq and Syria, and Vietnam, and other terrorist actions.” According to CNN, “those officials include former U.S. President George W. Bush former Vice President Dick Cheney, former CIA Director George Tenet, and several current and former members Congress, including ILeana Ross-Lehtinen, Bob Menendez, and Mario Diaz-Balart.” .

Venezuela’s economy is in deep trouble, as the swift fall of the price of oil has put the country on the brink of default, and unable to pay its debt. Economic conditions are expected to worsen, and anti-government unrest is likely to increase. V/R, RCP

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