The opponent, who proclaimed himself Venezuela's interim president in January, is once again being prosecuted by the judiciary, accused by the opposition of being close to President Nicolas Maduro.

The World with AFP Posted yesterday at 19h27, updated yesterday at 20h26

Time to Reading 1 min.

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido addresses the press at the National Assembly headquarters in Caracas, Venezuela, on Tuesday, September 3, 2019.
Venezuela's opposition leader, Juan Guaido, addresses the press at the National Assembly's headquarters in Caracas, Venezuela, on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Andrea Hernandez Briceà ± o / AP

Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president of Venezuela in January, is undergoing a new judicial procedure. The Venezuelan Attorney General, known to be close to the Chavisist regime, announced Friday (September 6th) the opening of an investigation against the opponent.

He is suspected of " high treason " as well as to have wanted "Deliver" to multinationals Esequibo, a rich territory of Guyana claimed by Caracas. "We open an investigation" against Juan Guaido for facts which constitute "A crime, that of high treason"Said Tarek William Saab in a televised address.

Several investigations have already been launched against Juan Guaido. Justice, which the opposition accuses of answering only President Nicolas Maduro, suspects him of "Illicit financing", to have violated a ban on leaving Venezuela and"Usurpation of the presidential office".

Read also Venezuela: Juan Guaido denounces "dismantling" of Parliament by Maduro

A voice message disclosed

The latter charge triggered an investigation as early as Jan. 23, when Juan Guaido proclaimed himself interim president of Venezuela. It was then recognized as such by some fifty countries. The parliamentary immunity of Mr Guaido, who chairs the Parliament, has already been lifted, but he has not been questioned. Washington warned that stop it would be "The ultimate mistake" of Nicolas Maduro.

The socialist president had pressed Thursday evening justice to sue Juan Guaido for " high treason ", accusing him of wanting "Deliver" Esequibo to multinational companies.

These charges are based on a voice message divulged by the Chavist government in which a person identified as a US administration official communicates with a "External advisor" from Mr. Guaido. The person, presented as a US official, urges this "Advisor" at "Change the position of Venezuela" and "Deliver the Esequibo" ExxonMobil and other multinationals, according to the government of Nicolas Maduro.

Read also Four questions about Juan Guaido's "Freedom" operation in Venezuela

Esequibo is a territory rich in minerals and bordered by a maritime zone with oil resources. Its sovereignty is claimed by Venezuela to its eastern neighbor, Guyana. Caracas challenges an arbitral award made in Paris at the end of the 19the century, granting the region to the British colony of the time, and puts forward the 1966 agreement proposing a negotiated solution. The tension resurfaced in 2015, on the occasion of the discovery of oil in disputed waters.

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