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U.S. based YouTuber Oscar Alejandro Pérez freed after 'terrorism' arrest in Venezuela

Pérez, who has close to two million followers, was accused of inciting violence and encouraging Venezuelans to detonate a specific financial building in Caracas in the video

Arrestan a YouTuber venezolano Oscar Alejandro Pérez | Captura de pantalla

April 4, 2024 7:51am

Updated: April 4, 2024 10:25am

A U.S. based YouTuber known for his independent online travel videos was freed after being arrested by the Maduro regime and held for 32 hours at Caracas airport on Sunday.

Venezuelan Attorney-General Tarek William Saab said U.S.-based YouTuber Oscar Alejandro Pérez was detained over a video he uploaded to the Internet last year.

Pérez, who has close to two million followers, was accused of inciting violence and encouraging Venezuelans to detonate a specific financial building in Caracas in the video.

Upon his release, Pérez made clear he had no intentions of inciting violence or disturbing the peace. He also said the attorney general misinterpreted and mischaracterized his comments about the building.

In the video, the famous YouTuber points to a tower and says:

“That lit-up building behind us is Credicard Tower. Curious detail: all the servers for Venezuelan credit and debit cards are in there. If a bomb were to be thrown at that building, the whole national banking system would collapse.”

To clarify his comments, Pérez released an online statement, and apologized for any confusion.

A native Venezuelan, he said ihe loved his homeland and said that he would consider any violence hurtful to his family, some of whom still remain in the South American country.  

Pérez was detained by Venezuelan authorities while boarding a domestic flight to Canaima, a Venezuelan national park in the south of the country, close to Angel Falls, the world’s tallest, uninterrupted water fall at 979 meters.

As a condition of his release, Pérez must return to court if he is called upon to do so by Venezuelan criminal prosecutors, Saab said.

Perez’s arrest gained worldwide attention because of the ongoing crackdown against opposition leaders, human rights activists and journalists in Venezuela.

Many Venezuelans who have vocally opposed the Maduro regime amid the upcoming 2024 presidential elections have been charged with inciting violence or “terrorism.”

In the background of Perez’s case, the Maduro regime continued to siege the Argentine embassy, where several Venezuelan opposition members took refuge.

ADN reported last week that Venezuelan authorities have turned off water and electricity as a tactic to drive the opposition activists out of the building and place pressure on the Argentine diplomats giving them shelter.

Venezuela’s upcoming elections have come into focus throughout the world as Western European nations such as Norway have been asked to monitor the progress of Maduro’s promise to hold free and fair elections.

The regime has also fallen under the scrutiny of otherwise allies such as Brazil and Colombia, two South American countries that are now demanding for Venezuela to honor its commitments in the Barbados Agreement, which was signed in October.

The agreement promised to hold open, democratic elections and give the opposition a fair chance to register its candidates.

Since then however, opposition leader María Corina Machado, who was responsible for uniting a coalition of pro-democracy organizations has been barred from running, and her second in command was also blocked  from registering as a candidate.

Corina Machado has repeatedly accused Maduro of only allowing candidates to register who do not pose a threat to his Chavismo regime.

Since then, Maduro has also come under fire for blocking millions of out of country voters from voting remotely by failing to install voting machines at Venezuelan consulates throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Executive Editor

Gelet Martínez Fragela

Gelet Martínez Fragela is the founder and editor-in-chief of ADN America. She is a Cuban journalist, television producer, and political refugee who also founded ADN Cuba.