Portugal to probe Venezuela allegations against TAP airline
Portugal said Friday it would open an investigation into Venezuelan allegations that flag carrier TAP had allowed a family member of opposition leader Juan Guaido board a plane carrying explosives.
ortugal said Friday it would open an investigation into Venezuelan allegations that flag carrier TAP had allowed a family member of opposition leader Juan Guaido board a plane carrying explosives.
“Following declarations by the Venezuelan authorities about a security lapse in a flight from Lisbon,” the Portuguese interior ministry had opened a probe “to find out what happened”, the ministry said in a statement.
Juan Marquez, Guaido’s uncle, had been accompanying his nephew on a tour of the US and Europe.
He was arrested Tuesday on arrival in Venezuela with explosives hidden in a number of objects, according to Diosdado Cabello, the powerful head of the country’s constituent assembly and President Nicolas Maduro’s number two.
TAP had violated international rules by allowing Marquez onboard with explosives, and also by omitting Guaido from the passenger list, he said.
Guaido returned to Venezuela on Tuesday after an international support-building tour in defiance of a travel ban, and called on the people in the crisis-wracked nation to keep pushing back against Maduro.
Guaido rose to prominence in January 2019 when he declared himself the country’s acting president in a direct challenge to Maduro.
However, Maduro retains the support of Venezuela’s powerful military and has resisted Guaido’s challenge, even as the United States ramps up the pressure.
ortugal’s foreign minister, Augusto Santos Silva, said on Friday that Venezuela’s accusations “make no sense”, and that he hoped for a rapid resolution of the situation.