Local opposition leader arrested in anti-Maduro audio file scandal

Domingo Brito, with the Vente Venezuela party in Venezuela’s Anzoategui state, was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Guanipa municipality there. His crime? Allegedly posting an audio file where he impersonated pro-Maduro mayor, retired Army General Francisco Belisario Landis criticizing the Maduro regime.

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Vente Venezuela

By Marinelid Marcano.

Domingo Brito, a local leader for opposition party Vente Venezuela in the Guanipa municipality, south of oil-rich Anzoategui, was arrested by local police on a warrant extended by the 1st court, the first municipal instance of the Anzoategui judicial penal circuit. His crime was impersonating Guanipa mayor and retired Army General Francisco Belisario Landis in an audio post critical of the Nicolas Maduro regime.

Landis in late 2019 began offering a bounty of 30 million bolivares- the current coin in Venezuela- (less than $400) for the name of the responsible for the audio impersonation, according to an article published last December by Caracas newspaper “Tal Cual”.

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However, National Assembly lawmaker and Vente Venezuela Anzoategui member Omar Gonzalez said Brito had been writing tweets critical of the regime also, and that was the main reason for his arrest.

However, Cesar Valenzuela, director of the Guanipa municipal police, confirmed in a Whatsapp message that Brito was arrested for being the alleged author of the audio imitating Mayor Landis’s voice to “offend the people of Guanipa, subjecting the mayor to public discredit”.

Brito, Berenzuela said, is being accused with identity usurpation and outrage of public investiture by mocking the Mayor and pretending to be him.

Whatsapp “chains” with audio posts criticizing Maduro are extremely popular in Venezuela, so much so that a group of journalists and programmers had to devise an app to weed out fake news.

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