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Maduro’s government says Los Rastrojos intended to blackmail Guaido if he arrived in Miraflores

September 20, 2019

MADRID, Sep. 20 (EUROPE PRESS) –

Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodríguez said on Friday that Los Rastrojos intended to use the photographs that some of its members took with the self-proclaimed “president in charge” of the country, Juan Guaidó, to blackmail him if he finally reached office with the objective of the Colombian criminal gang having free passage through the common border.

Last week, some photographs were published in which Guaidó appears with two members of Los Rastrojos. The snapshots date from last February, when the opposition leader crossed over to Colombia to try to get humanitarian aid stranded at the border into Venezuela.

The images caused a great controversy because they pointed out that Guaidó could have used Los Rastrojos' help to cross the border, which at that time was sealed. The truth is that it is still unknown how he arrived in Colombia, although he has promised that he will explain it shortly.

In recent hours, new photographs of Guaidó have been known through social networks along with other members of Los Rastrojos, including 'Patron Poor', who has been identified as the person driving a vehicle in which the Venezuelan opponent was traveling.

Guaidó explained in a press conference last week, when the first images were known, that he takes pictures with “thousands” of people and does not always know who they are, ensuring that this was the case.

However, Rodriguez said Friday that Iván Posso Pedrozo, aka 'Nandito', a 'stubble' that has been arrested in recent days in the Venezuelan state of Zulia, has confessed what would be the real reasons for those snapshots.

“The photos had to keep them to have them as the basis for a future where Los Rastrojos could move freely throughout the border sector without any military pressure … That was the deal to be able to pass Juan Guaidó to Colombia” , said the spokesman, as reported by 'El Universal'.

“That is, so that the band could have free transit in a hypothetical Government of Juan Guaidó, to commit all their misdeeds, the photos were taken intentionally to save them and have them as a document of pressure and blackmail after the Venezuelan right” , has developed.

Rodriguez has revealed that the photographs were on the mobile phone of 'Nandito', which deleted them when he was arrested but “they are managed to extract”. In addition, the Colombian offender would have provided details of the route that was used to move Guaidó from one country to another.

The political crisis in Venezuela that worsened on January 10, when Nicolás Maduro decided to start a second six-year term that does not recognize the opposition or much of the international community because they consider the 2018 presidential elections to be a fraud.

In response, Guaidó proclaimed himself interim president on January 23 with the aim of ceasing “usurpation”, creating a transitional government and holding “free elections.” It has been recognized by the United States, numerous Latin American countries, as well as several Europeans, including Spain.

Meanwhile, more than four million Venezuelans have left the country in recent years because of the humanitarian crisis in the Caribbean nation. The UN warns that, if the trend continues, by the end of 2019 they could add more than five million.