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How Venezuela's most famous SWAT policeman escaped house arrest



WASHINGTON – When the last rays of sunlight faded into the Caribbean Sea, the political refugee Iván Simonovis jumped against an island rendezvous with freedom.

Three weeks earlier, he had fled house arrest, rappelling a 75 foot meter wall in the night's death, and took a bolt cutter to his ankle monitor. Since then, he had frequently moved between secure houses to remain one step ahead of Nicolas Maduro's security forces.

It was a thorough plan with its reputation as Venezuela's most famous SWAT politician.

But then with freedom almost in sight Venezuelan crisis dealt with a final blow: The engine of his fishing boat drove out, choking on water and sediment clogged his tank, a growing problem in the once-rich OPEC nation, as its raw supply fades and its refineries fall into disrepair. 1

9659002] "No one would have guessed that in Venezuela, an engine would fail due to gasoline," said 59-year-old Simonovis The Associated Press in his first remarks since reconstruction on Monday in Washington after five weeks on the run. [19659002] That Simonovis can laugh at his trial is just as much a testament to the incompetence of his prison members as his own courage. So far, there has been no official response to his escape after 15 years of detention – a possible sign that Maduro is too embarrassed to recognize his lack of control over his own security forces, some of whom helped Simonovis to gain freedom.

"They are active members of the Maduro government, but they clearly work for the government of Juan Guaidó," said Simonovis, referring to the opposition leader recognized as Venezuela's president of the United States and more than 50 other nations.

In 2004, the former Caracas public security director was jailed over for what he insisted was false accusations of ordering police to open deadly fire on pro-government protesters who rushed to Hugo Chavez's defense under a shorter coup. Nineteen people were killed in a war force that broke out on a bypass.

Simonovis & # 39; s nearly ten-year long confinement in a windowless 6-foot-foot-cell after a trial mistreated by irregularities became a rallying war for the opposition, who regarded him as a scapegoat. His arrest warrant was signed by Judge Maikel Moreno, who, as a lawyer, had defended one of the pro-Chávez criminals involved in the warfare in 2004 and now heads the Supreme Court.


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