Maduro’s government accuses TAP of illegally transporting explosives

  • Lusa
  • 14 February 2020

The Venezuelan government said that TAP infringed international standards by allowing the transport of explosives.

The Venezuelan government has accused Portugal’s flag carrier TAP of violating international standards by allowing the transport of explosives and hiding the identity of opposition leader Juan Guaidó on a flight to Caracas.

Venezuelan authorities accused the Portuguese ambassador to Caracas, Carlos Sousa Amaro, of interfering in Venezuela’s internal affairs by interceding for Juan Guaidó’s uncle, Juan Marquez, who was arrested on Tuesday when he landed on the same TAP flight accused of transporting explosives.

According to the Venezuelan government, Juan Marquez, who was accompanying his nephew Juan Guaidó, carried tactical pocket torches that hid explosive chemicals in the battery compartment.

Venezuelan authorities believe that TAP, on that flight between Lisbon and Caracas, violated international security standards, allowing explosives, and hid the identity of Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaidó on the passenger list, although airport security is not the responsibility of the carriers.

Questioned by Lusa, TAP declined to comment on the allegation.

Juan Marquez is accused of carrying other explosives in perfume capsules and a bulletproof vest, as well as a hidden computer, flash drive in the remote controls of a vehicle, with alleged plans of attack.

Marquez was arrested at the headquarters of the Directorate of Military Counter-Information in Caracas and is to be transferred to a court in La Guaira, a coastal city of Venezuela.

The Venezuelan authorities said the Portuguese ambassador in Caracas tried to intercede for Juan Marquez but ruled out any possibility of releasing him.

The government even accuses Carlos Sousa Amaro of abusive interference in Venezuelan internal affairs.

Juan Guaidó, who returned on the TAP flight with his uncle after a political tour of the European and American continents, has already denounced his uncle’s disappearance, blaming President-elect Nicolas Maduro for everything that happens to him.