Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Today in the afternoon, prominent opposition leaders like María Corina Machado, Antonio Ledezma, Richard Blanco and Delsa Solórzano took to Twitter to decry how political prisoners in El Helicoide, SEBIN’s infamous dungeon for political prisoners, were wounded and tortured by ordinary inmates.

The light was eventually cut off at El Helicoide, but a prisoner was able to contact his family and  declare to Efecto Cocuyo“The prisoners are afraid that this situation will continue inside the prison, because afterwards they’ll be unable to communicate what goes on inside SEBIN.”

At approximately 3:00 p.m., ambulances and GNB officers entered the premises. Two helicopters were also flying over the area.

Political prisoners made several concise demands:

  1. Immediate release for those prisoners with court mandated liberation;
  2. Court hearings for every political prisoner;
  3. Prisoners who are ill must be taken to hospitals;
  4. Visiting rights must be respected;
  5. Extortion must end;
  6. Underage prisoners must be freed;
  7. Political prisoners must be separated from ordinary inmates.

Efecto Cocuyo reports that the spark that lit the fire was when officers left a cell door open and ordinary prisoners attacked Gregory Sanabria, UNIMET student held since 2014. This is how Sanabria looks now:

These videos of political prisoners Daniel Ceballos, General Ángel Vivas and Lorent Saleh, among others, surfaced on social media in the afternoon:  

Joshua Holt, an American citizen and mormon missionary, has been held in El Helicoide for two years, under terrorism charges. According to Joshua Goodman of AP, Holt’s trial on weapons charges was scheduled to start Tuesday, May 15th, but he and his wife, Thamara Caleno, were never taken to court.

Today, he released this video…

…and the U.S. Embassy expressed its concern:

Venezuelan journalist Dereck Blanco, also reported:

At 7:00 p.m., Todd Robinson, chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy, was still in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, getting nothing but silence from the Venezuelan government.

After the prisoners demanded the presence of competent institutions to guarantee their safety, a delegation from the Prosecutor’s Office was denied entry:

It’ll take days before we can figure out what’s really happening, but we’ll be on alert as to what’s next in this rather odd turn of events.

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34 COMMENTS

  1. Shit.

    You can be sure that the Pentagon has the invasion plans all drawn up. Whether it happens is of course a different story.

    But I can guarantee you the Helicoid is on the top 5 lists of targets to hit.

    This ain’t Afghanistan and fucking nutjob islamists hiding in caves. This is VZ with a fat and weak, plus Cuban and uncommitted, military and police force.

    GoogleMaps is the U.S. military’s best friend, so it’ll take about 10 minutes.

  2. I guess there was some calculus going on; that the regime cant afford a … final… solution given the sham election in a few days.

    But this is very risky for them. Extremely risky.

  3. The troll infestation is a sign of desperation.

    Days before their precious imposed fraud they have a riot with serious effects that will be felt inside and outside Venezuela, with basically zero upside for the regime. If the regime gives into the demands, it loses face. If it doesn’t, it loses face.

    These kinds of events can even turn into the spark that lights the keg. Given that if the keg goes off it may be because those prisoners suffer the ultimate affront, I hate to hope the keg blows…….But I’m hoping it does.

    I’m curious. The US Embassy tweet mentions “Joshua Holt y otros ciudadanos estadounidenses”. I was unaware there were other Americans being held, unless some of the prisoners are dual citizens? Anybody know?

    • The problem is that a lot of people don’t really know (or care) what’s happening in El Helicoide. Venezuelan media is totally censored, so don’t expect any keg to be lit….

      • “…lot of people don’t really know (or care) what’s happening in El Helicoide.”

        Then someone should tell them that “if they don’t care about the political prisoners, then don’t complain when the regime’s ousted”

    • The round of arrests in the purge a few months ago included a couple of PDVSA employees with dual U.S./Venezuelan citizenship. Perhaps that is what the are referring to.

  4. El Helicoide is a perfect metaphor for the people of Venezuela, also imprisioned in a decaying political structure surrounded by the Sebin.

    • Venezuela and El Helicoide; a quotidian display of misery, abuse, despotism and barbarism perfomed in the ruins of an utopian vision that never came.

  5. This morning the CNN International reporter in Venezuela was interviewed about the Helicoide situation, including news about the american prisoner, Joshua Holt.

  6. From the Aporrea link:

    “In the hypothetical scenario of the invasion, the civil and armed opposition structures will be the first to be subdued and swept away by revolutionary forces, from the head, passing through their middle managers, and including members of the bases.”

    Sounds like a caliphate.

  7. Byzantine as hell, Venezuela is, who knows if this is some sort of power play between rival gangs?

    Or a False Flag to expose any turncoats?

    So far as I have been able to ascertain the whole thing starts because a guard leaves a cell door open. In Mordor, no less. Where all the orcs are theoretically elite.

    The prisoners have smartphones all of a sudden? They survive the night, spending a good hour or more talking uninterrupted with Fernando Del Rincon?

    Right before the “elections”.

    The GNB enters the place, takes out some common criminals. No one dies.

    NONE of this is your average prison riot in Venezuela results of death and sheets over corpses.

    This is beginning to look weirder by the minute.

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