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Former Minister Simón Zerpa Allegedly Reported Alex Saab to US Officials

The former Minister of Economy and Finance, Simón Zerpa, is allegedly accused of acting as a spy to provide the United States with critical information from Venezuela that would facilitate the entry of food and medicine into the country, according to intelligence reports.

Zerpa reportedly shared the complete flight itinerary of Alex Saab in June 2020 with the Americans. This information led to the Interpol’s capture of Saab in Cape Verde on June 12, 2020, and later his extradition to the United States.

The government of President Nicolás Maduro has consistently maintained that Saab’s capture aimed to prevent the import of food, medicine, and fuel into Venezuela as part of the U.S. sanctions, which were intended to destabilize Maduro’s administration.

The former minister Zerpa was recently apprehended by the National Anti-Corruption Police, alongside former PDVSA president Tarek El Aissami and businessman Samark López. They were allegedly involved in a scheme to sabotage the Venezuelan economy and create chaos for political gain.

This economic dismantling plan involved embezzlement of foreign currency generated from the sale of oil, which was then converted into digital currencies by El Aissami’s associates. This manipulation contributed to the escalation of the parallel dollar’s value, impacting the prices of essential goods in the country.

The Anti-Corruption Operation commenced on March 17, 2023, resulting in the arrest of several individuals, including high-ranking officials from PDVSA and government agencies. Subsequently, a second stage of the operation led to the arrest of Zerpa, El Aissami, and López, who were allegedly involved in facilitating the chaos in Venezuela through various means.

Further developments in the operation occurred over the weekend with the arrest of former vice ministers Erick Pérez, Juan Santana, Xavier León Anchustegui, and Oswaldo Pérez Cueva, who are expected to face charges in the coming hours.

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