Oscar Alejandro Pérez: YouTuber set free following suspect ‘terrorist arrest’

A Venezuelan YouTuber known for sharing his travel adventures has been released from custody after being detained for 32 hours following his arrest at Caracas airport on Sunday.

Venezuela’s Attorney-General Tarek Saab announced the arrest of YouTuber Oscar Alejandro Pérez, who is based in the US, for a video he posted last year.

According to Mr Saab, the influencer in the video supposedly encourages the destruction of a financial building in Caracas.

Following his release, Mr Pérez expressed his commitment to maintaining public order.

The YouTuber, with nearly two million followers, claimed that the sentence in question was taken out of context, according to their statement.

In the video, he gestures towards a towering building and mentions: “That illuminated structure behind us is Credicard Tower.

He expressed his deep affection for his home country and emphasized that he would never consider engaging in any actions that could harm his family or a financial institution.

Mr Pérez was apprehended just moments before he was set to embark on a journey to Canaima, a breathtaking national park nestled in the southern region of Venezuela, renowned for its majestic Angel Falls.

He was released on Monday under the condition that he remains accessible to prosecutors and the courts when summoned, according to Attorney-General Saab.

The arrest of the YouTuber is part of a series of arrests that have targeted various individuals, including human rights advocates and political activists. Many individuals have faced charges related to acts of terrorism or inciting hate. Mr Saab did not provide specific details regarding the reason for Mr Pérez’s arrest.

Typically, individuals who have been apprehended are often affiliated with the opposition coalition or have been vocal in their criticism of President Nicolás Maduro’s administration.

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It is quite unexpected for Venezuela’s attorney-general, who has a strong alliance with President Maduro, to make allegations against a YouTuber for attempting to disrupt the country.

Nevertheless, there has been a noticeable increase in tension leading up to the upcoming presidential election in July, as Mr. Maduro seeks a third consecutive term.

The previous election in 2016 was heavily criticized for lacking fairness and legitimacy. The opposition leader, María Corina Machado, has accused the president of attempting to manipulate the candidate selection process for this upcoming election.

Ms Machado has been disqualified from seeking political office, while her replacement has encountered obstacles in registering as a candidate.

“Interesting fact: the servers for Venezuelan credit and debit cards are located there.” If a bomb were to be thrown at that building, it would have catastrophic consequences for the national banking system.

After being released, Mr. Pérez expressed regret if the video had been misunderstood.

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