Venezuela accuses opposition politicians of treason over Essequibo

Venezuela has ordered the arrest of several politicians with close links to opposition presidential candidate María Corina Machado.

Attorney-General Tarek William Saab accused them of trying to sabotage last week’s referendum over Venezuela’s claim to the disputed Essequibo region.

An overwhelming majority of those who voted backed the government’s position on Essequibo.

But government critics have raised questions about the turnout.

Many analysts have described the Essequibo referendum as a tactical response by President Nicolás Maduro to whip up nationalist fervour and distract from the calls for free and fair elections.

The referendum has not only ratcheted up tensions between Venezuela and its neighbour Guyana, which has controlled the disputed area for more than a century, but also between the government and its critics.

Mr Saab, an ally of President Maduro, announced that he had issued arrest warrants for 14 people with links to the opposition.



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