Head of Venezuela’s secret police breaks with Maduro

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The head of Venezuela’s feared secret police has turned his back on disputed President Nicolas Maduro in an open letter made public Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Maduro took to Venezuela’s airwaves to proclaim that the uprising sparked by opposition leader Juan Guaidó had been defeated. In a rambling address, Maduro said his regime had responded to the rebellion with “nerves of steel, maximum serenity and effective action” and claimed that the leaders of the uprising were under arrest and being questioned.

“This cannot go unpunished,” said Maduro, who added that “all of those involved must surrender.”

Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera, the head of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN), is the highest-ranking member of the country’s security forces to break with Maduro since Guaidó called for a military uprising Tuesday morning.

In the letter, the authenticity of which was confirmed to The Associated Press by a U.S. official, Figuera wrote that while he always had been loyal to Maduro, “the time has come to seek new ways of doing politics” to try and “rebuild the country.” The letter did not mention Guaidó by name but did say that Venezuela has experienced a damaging decline. – READ MORE

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