By Kelvin Obambon
France denied on Friday that Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido had taken refuge in its embassy in Caracas, as Venezuelan foreign minister Jorge Arreaza said while demanding his arrest.
“Mr. Juan Guaido is not at the French ambassador’s residence in Caracas,” said French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnès von der Mühll.
“He is not in any of our precincts” in Caracas, she added, noting that France had “confirmed it repeatedly to the Venezuelan authorities”.
The Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs said Thursday that the opponent was in the “French Embassy” and that another opponent, Leopoldo Lopez, had found refuge at the residence of the Spanish ambassador.
“We cannot enter the premises of an embassy of any country whatsoever and arrest them by force,” he added with reference to the inviolability of diplomatic representations.
Attorney General Tarek William Saab accuses Juan Guaido of having fomented an attempted invasion with the complicity of the United States in early May, and of encouraging destabilizing actions “in the midst of an pandemic” of the new coronavirus.
On Monday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had already suggested that his rival Juan Guaido may have “hidden in an embassy”.