04/19/2021

Promises to Venezuelan military defectors unfulfilled

Promises to Venezuelan military defectors unfulfilled

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Major Hugo Parra Martínez and first lieutenant Erick Molina are two of hundred soldiers who defected in Cúcuta on February 23, following Juan Guaidó and yet they are currently in US without any protection or asylum, while others in similar conditions are broken down in other countries of the region.

A special report published on Telemundo website summarizes military testimony and notes, the promise of protection and guarantees by the self-proclaimed “interim president” was not fulfilled.

“I fell in a sack and I’m at the bottom. I lost everything: my family, my house. What I did was worth nothing. I don’t see a way out, ”says Major Hugo Parra Martínez, from Winn Correctional Center in Louisiana, one of the US prisons that is a detention center for immigrants who hope to resolve asylum cases.

Parra surrendered to US immigration authorities at the International Bridge number II of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, on April 11, from that moment he was transferred twice to a detention center and denied bail requests, without Have an appointment with an immigration judge.

The report indicates, Parra is one of the 100 Venezuelan military personnel who ignore the constitutional president Nicolás Maduro in early 2019, when deputy Guaidó promoted the so-called “Operation Freedom” for a transitional government and new elections.

On February 23, Parra appeared in a video expressing his support for Guaido, which went viral on social media; after the failure of the so-called “humanitarian aid” the deserters surrendered in Colombia, to be received by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Some of these military personnel sought refuge in US, a country that initially showed their support, but after almost a year they haven’t it and officers such as Parra feel abandoned by Guaido, who also said he would protect them.

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For his part, Erick Molina, anotherone deserters says he lives with a “terror” to be returned to Venezuela, after having spent three months in detention and was granted a bail, although without answer yet on his asylum.

“We think the United States as an ally of Guaidó, they would talk to each other and help us with the immigration process,” he explains. “But all military that we pass to Cucuta are nowhere. Floating, ”he said.

Raynell Martínez, a former Bolivian Military Aviation who defected in 2014 under similar conditions, has helped both Parra and Molina for asylum and bail, but notes that they haven’t received the promised support.

“All the steps have been done so Guaidó’s ambassador to the US, Carlos Vecchio, supports Parra with a lawyer, but nothing has happened,” he laments.

Guaidó who called on military to put themselves “on the right side of the story” and promised them “amnesty and guarantees”, didn’t comply with what was agreed, says Telemundo.

The report indicates «Hugo Parra Martínez spends his days behind bars in constant tension: he doesn’t know when he will leave or if immigration authorities will end up deporting him to Venezuela».

Telemundo report says despite the fact that the US «was the first country to recognize and support Guaidó, classify the Maduro government as a dictatorship and recognize the political and humanitarian crisis, continues to detain and deport Venezuelans, for whom it has been He was reluctant to approve a Temporary Protection Status (TPS) ».

The situation of these soldiers in oblivion, with no protection “could remove potential allies inside and outside Venezuelan territory and discourage other military for future uprisings,” the former Bolivarian National Guard of Venezuela José A. Colina told Telemundo , exiled in Miami and president of the so-called «Political Persecuted Venezuelans in Exile (Veppex) group».

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Colina said that he has repeatedly asked Guaidó and the State Department to intercede for a dozen soldiers in the same situation as Parra and Molina, but has not received an answer, said the Venezuelan News Agency (AVN).

When consulting with the Director of Consular Affairs of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, Brian Fincheltub, he told Telemundo that Guaidó is aware of the situation facing dissident military personnel such as Parra and Molina, however, «the deputy does not only have this ‘incident’ to take over ».

For its part, the State Department has refused to answer, as has the Department of Homeland Security.

On February 23, the day when the military personnel defected, it’s a date surrounded by several scandals linked to Guaidó, such as money theft raised for the concert “Venezuela Aid Live” in Cúcuta, its passage to Colombia protected by the narco-paramilitary band “Los Rastrojos” and prostitutes party by the opposition deputy, Freddy Superlano.

Weeks ago, Humberto Calderón Berti, “former ambassador” of Guaidó in Colombia, denounced the resources destined for deserting military was used improperly, with fictitious bills and expenses in liquor and prostitutes.

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