Senior Chavista Diplomat Freed After 12 Days in Venezuelan State Custody

Ricardo Moreno was released Sunday evening after being detained for twelve days by state intelligence agents under unclear circumstances. 

By Lucas Koerner
Short URL

ricardo-moreno-cnn_0.jpg

Ricardo Moreno during an appearance on CNN Español. (CNN)
Ricardo Moreno during an appearance on CNN Español. (CNN)

Caracas, November 22, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – A high level Venezuelan diplomatic official was released Sunday evening after being detained for twelve days by state intelligence agents under unclear circumstances. 

The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry’s North America Director, Ricardo Moreno, was arrested without warning by the National Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN) in a raid on his Caracas office on November 8. 

Detained without access to telephone, email, or social networks, Moreno was initially accused of “treason”, reports Aporrea. These accusations were later downgraded to “trafficking of influences”, although it remains unclear whether the diplomat has yet to face formal charges. 

Neither the SEBIN nor Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry have yet issued a statement concerning the arrest, and Moreno’s passport remains in official custody. 

Founder of the Los Angeles-based Simon Bolivar Association, Moreno is an internationally renowned Chavista activist who has long served as one of the Bolivarian Revolution’s most vocal champions in the US public sphere. 

According to reports by Aporrea and the Miami-based Diario Las Americas, his detention could be linked to internal power struggles within the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry.  

Prior to taking on the post of North America director earlier this year, Moreno served as Venezuela’s consul general in San Francisco. The diplomat was recently reassigned to his San Francisco posting with plans to return in December.