In a confusing incident on the night December 13, agents of the Military Counterintelligence General Division (Dgcim) showed up at the Caracas residence of the National Assembly opposition representative Yanet Fermin. Fermin said the officers had told her they had a “search and citation” order, but refused to show it to her. Opposition leader and Interim President named by the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, and several other opposition deputies rushed to Fermin’s residence made declarations and filmed videos of the procedure. The Dgcim agents left after lawyers insisted they could not take Fermin without showing the alleged citation order.
On the 14th Communication and Information Minister, Jorge Rodríguez, declared in a press conference that the botched attempt to arrest deputy Fermin was part of the government’s efforts to “disarticulate” a terrorist cell formed by two opposition party Voluntad Popular militants (Yanet Fermín and Fernando Orozco) and lead by opposition leaders Leopoldo López and Juan Guaidó, all under the command of Colombian President Iván Duque.
According to Rodríguez, the terrorist cell would try to “take over” two National Guard headquarters in the city of Cumaná, Sucre state, and generate a “blood bath”. The government’s source, said Rodriguez, is a police officer named Sixto José Salamanca Jiménez, who is under arrest and “collaborating with the investigations”. Salamanca, according to Rodríguez, was recruited by Fernando Orozco (like Fermín, a National Assembly representative of the opposition Voluntad Popular party) to bring, “in a secret operation”, 30 assault rifles from Bogotá and to distribute them in the states of Sucre, Zulia, Táchira, Barinas, Aragua and the Federal District (Caracas).
The aim of this plot would not be to directly topple the government however, said Rodríguez, but to divert public opinion from recent corruption cases in the National Assembly and thus restore Guidós popularity.