Maduro announced the arrest of 'US spy' in Venezuela
An 'American spy' was captured near two Venezuelan refineries after authorities dismantled a plan to cause an explosion at another refining complex, President Nicolás Maduro announced on Friday.
We have captured yesterday a US spy spying on the Falcón state, the Amuay and Cardón refineries, from the refining center of Paraguaná (northwest), the president said in a televised address.
The alledged spy a marine who was serving in CIA bases in Iraq and was captured with heavy weapons and large amounts of cash, according to the president.
The arrest occurred after authorities discovered and dismantled on Wednesday a plan to cause an explosion at the El Palito refinery, the closest to Caracas located in the Carabobo state (center), Maduro continued.
The president did not reveal details of his place of detention.
Last August, Americans Luke Alexander Denman and Airan Berry were sentenced to 20 years in prison in Venezuela, accused of terrorism, among other crimes, for a failed armed incursion into Venezuela last May.
Hours earlier, the Maduro government announced a contingency plan to regulate the supply of fuel in the face of the serious gasoline shortage facing the country.
Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, but its production is in free fall: from 3.2 million barrels that it produced daily two years ago, it went down to 400,000 barrels per day in July.
Experts attribute the collapse to failed policies, lack of investment and large corruption cases, while Maduro assures that it is the result of economic sanctions imposed by Washington, which calls him a dictator and seeks to promote his departure from power.
It is a war of revenge by the US against Venezuela to prevent Venezuela from producing all oil derivatives, said the president.
The former oil power went from being an exporter to importing fuel from countries like Iran, one of Maduro's main allies, along with Russia, Turkey and Cuba.
Between last May and June, Tehran sent five oil tankers to Venezuela with 1.5 million barrels of fuel and supplies. The shipments helped ease Venezuela for several weeks, but the shortages are returning.