double agents
June 25, 2019

Iván Simonovis has quite the tale to tell.

The former Caracas public safety director, who had been imprisoned for 15 years — beginning when former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was still in power — on what he insists were "bogus" charges of ordering police to open fire on pro-government demonstrators in 2004, recently resurfaced in Washington following his escape from house arrest in Venezuela. He told his story to The Associated Press, which includes rappelling down a 75-foot wall and a failed motorboat engine.

But amid the gripping details of his breakout, Simonovis provided AP with an intriguing revelation. AP reports that, to date, Venezuela has issued no response to the escape, which could signal that the country's president Nicolás Maduro might be embarrassed by his own security forces who were assigned to guard Simonovis, especially since some of them reportedly aided in his flight.

"They are active members of the Maduro government, but quietly they work for the government of Juan Guaidó," Simonovis told AP.

Guaidó has challenged Maduro's leadership, and has received backing from several countries, including the United States, which recognizes him as Venezuela's legitimate interim president. But he was unable to procure enough military support in May to launch a successful coup, despite his belief that a greater portion of the armed forces would come to his side. Read more at The Associated Press. Tim O'Donnell

See More Speed Reads