During a nationally broadcast press conference on Wednesday, Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami announced the break-up of a violent destabilization plot and the arrest of right-wing opposition deputy Gilber Caro on charges of terrorism.
On Wednesday morning Caro, a substitute deputy in the National Assembly for the far-right Popular Will party, was pulled over in his car where police found a rifle, 20 cartridges of ammunition, plastic explosives and a large amount of cash, according to El Aissami.
“Who knows how many lives would have been lost if we had not stopped this threat,” said El Aissami, who added that this plot was similar to previous ones except that “this time they found someone with a criminal record.” Caro had previously served time in jail for drug trafficking and murder charges, according to El Aissami.
“We are confronting a fascist opposition which doesn’t believe in democracy,” said El Aissami.“The anti-democratic organization called Popular Will is responsible for the violence in the country,” the vice president added, calling the far-right opposition party “a terrorist group.”
Popular Will party leader Leopoldo Lopez is currently serving a 14-year sentence for inciting violence which killed 43 people in Feb. 2014.
Although Caro technically enjoys immunity as a member of the National Assembly, the vice president said that the alleged coup attempt would be treated "with the full weight of the law," declaring "enough with impunity."
Wednesday’s arrest comes just two days after the Supreme Court annulled a parliamentary coup attempt against President Nicolas Maduro and just two days before the start of Vatican-sponsored mediation talks between the socialist government and the far-right opposition coalition on Friday.