CARACAS – The Venezuelan opposition rejected on Friday the government’s claim that lawmaker Edmundo Rada’s murder had been a crime of passion.
“The lie presented by the regime on Friday has been debunked by the versions offered by lawyers, relatives and neighbors of the areas where ‘Pipo’ (Edmundo Rada) lived and where his body was found,” national assembly speaker Juan Guaido said in a statement posted on Twitter.
At a press conference earlier in the day, Venezuelan Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said that the police had ruled out any political motive behind Rada’s murder as had been alleged by Guaido.
Rada, who was the leader of Popular Will – the same party that Leopoldo Lopez and Juan Guaido belong to –, was found on a road outside Caracas on Oct. 17 with two shots in the back of the neck and his body burned, 24 hours after he went missing.
Reverol said the crime was committed by the current partner of a woman with whom the deceased was romantically involved and accused Guaido of attempting to “politicize this unfortunate fact” and of using “the family members’ pain” by accusing Nicolas Maduro’s regime of “having committed this murder.”
However, the opposition insisted in its statement “that one cannot believe a dictatorship that has been engaged in murdering, torturing and repressing those who think differently and have subjected millions of Venezuelans to the worst political, social and economic crisis of its modern history.”
It also said the public ministry had denied Rada’s lawyers and relatives “access to his case file,” adding that “that institution handles and manipulates this fact for its convenience, toeing the line” of Maduro, and called for an international investigation.