Venezuela po­lit­i­cal prison seized by in­mates ahead of pres­i­den­tial elec­tion

Daily Nation Newspaper - - NEWS OF THE WORLD -

AC­TIVISTS say in­mates have taken con­trol of Venezuela’s most no­to­ri­ous po­lit­i­cal prison – the El Heli­coide fa­cil­ity in Caracas – on the eve of a highly con­tro­ver­sial pres­i­den­tial elec­tion that op­po­nents have de­nounced as a fraud.

With Sun­day’s vote – which the US, EU and Latin Amer­i­can na­tions in­clud­ing Brazil, Colom­bia and Mex­ico have branded “il­le­git­i­mate” – just days away, Pres­i­dent Ni­colás Maduro on Wed­nes­day vowed to bring a “his­toric eco­nomic rev­o­lu­tion” to his cri­sis-stricken na­tion if handed a sec­ond term.

But Maduro’s com­ments were over­shad­owed by re­ports of a ma­jor dis­tur­bance at El Heli­coide, an iconic 1950s shop­ping mall that was con­verted into the head­quar­ters of Venezuela’s feared spy agency, the Ser­vi­cio Bo­li­var­i­ano de In­teligen­cia Na­cional (SE­BIN), and has be­come a crum­bling sym­bol of the coun­try’s plunge into eco­nomic chaos and au­thor­i­tar­i­an­ism.

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