Venezuela attorney general seeks to declare Guaido party 'terrorist organization'

Caracas (AFP) –


Venezuela's attorney general on Monday asked the Supreme Court to declare opposition leader Juan Guaido's party a "terrorist organization," blaming it for a failed sea invasion.

Tarek William Saab accused the Voluntad Popular ("Popular Will") party and its leader Guaido -- who is supported by the US and around 50 other countries as the interim president of Venezuela -- of promoting destabilizing actions during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a state TV broadcast, Saab said his office had asked the court "to determine if the Voluntad Popular political organization is a terrorist organization."

He referred to a "naval incursion" on May 3 in which Venezuela detained 52 alleged mercenaries, including two retired members of the US military, Luke Alexander Denman and Airan Berry.

The pair have been charged with terrorism.

Venezuela's leftist president Nicolas Maduro has already accused Guaido of orchestrating the maritime invasion, with the support of the United States.

US President Donald Trump has denied that his country was involved.

Voluntad Popular "categorically rejected the accusations" in a statement.

Guaido responded by accusing Maduro's government on Twitter of protecting "irregular groups," such as the Colombian ELN guerrillas, as well as Jesus Santrich, the former head of the disbanded FARC rebels.