Home news Venezuela: Maduro's German pawn

Venezuela: Maduro's German pawn

  • Together with the EU, Germany is also putting increasing pressure on Maduro and insisting on new elections.
  • However, the Federal Government must also keep an eye on what happens to a German citizen who is in the notorious "El Helicoide" prison.
  • Billy Six writes for far-right media, he was arrested under questionable circumstances – and now threaten him 28 years in prison in Venezuela.

Nicolás Maduro wavers, but he falls – so far – not. After his challenger Juan Guaidó, president of a merely symbolic Parliament, proclaimed himself head of state last Wednesday and was cheered frenetically, the pressure on the ruler in Caracas increases almost daily. The opposition has called for protests again this Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of people could follow, maybe more.

International pressure is also growing, and the US is now proving for the first time the important oil industry for Maduro with severe sanctions. Numerous governments now support Guaidó, and after initial hesitation, the federal government also takes increasingly clear position against Maduro. With other EU countries, she has given him an ultimatum: By next weekend, the autocrat must call new elections. This in turn rejects this as "impudence". He could have in mind that he – cynically speaking – in a single cell in Caracas still has a kind of pawn.

Politics Venezuela Maduro is promising negotiations with the opposition

Maduro promises negotiations with opposition

He is ready for talks under international mediation, says the under pressure head of state according to a Russian state media. He also publicly suspects US President Trump of ordering his assassination.


In the infamous "El Helicoide" prison, which also serves as the headquarters of the secret service Sebin, sits Billy Six, a 32-year-old native Berliner, who writes lyrics for far-right media such as the Young Freedom. On November 17, 2018, Six had been arrested by agents of the secret service, Sebin. Among other things, they are supposed to have secured photos that Six did in public military parades. In addition, they had found that he had met with members of the former Colombian guerrilla Farc. Due to espionage, rebellion and violation of security zones, he faces 28 years imprisonment.

Questionable prison conditions

According to his father Edward, Six has been in Venezuela intermittently since the summer of 2017. It can be heard that he entered without a journalist visa, but pretended to be a tourist. His articles serve clichés that you would expect in right newspapers. There is talk of a "human tsunami" that crosses the border into Colombia, or even of the rather crude slogan "Left makes poor and unfree".

Of course, that does not justify what Six is ​​doing since mid-November. When a passport control in a disco he noticed as a German, his father Edward Six reported on the phone, a day later it was arrested by the Sebin agents. The allegations have been constructed, as it sees the organization "Reporters Without Borders". Six had worked only as a journalist.

The lawsuit against him has been postponed several times, most recently on January 23, when the demonstrations brought Maduro into distress. A guard, who according to Six's father pushes duty around the clock in front of his son's cell, points out that the regime does not consider the prisoner to be completely worthless.

Billy Six (center) has been arrested once in a war zone, 2012 in Syria.

(Photo: dpa)

Edward Six complains that his son is not allowed to exercise his rights as a prisoner. "My son has almost no contact with the outside world," he says on the phone. A lawyer of the organization "Espacio Público" would not be admitted to him. Only twice has Six been given a call, which he forced through a hunger strike.

Six chose the number of the German Embassy in Caracas. According to the Foreign Office, the German ambassador to Venezuela visited the detainee on 9 January and requested a second visit. The Office informs that it looks after the Berliner consularly and is committed to a fair trial.

In the past, Six, who frequently traveled to crisis areas, had been arrested once before. According to his father, he was arrested at the end of 2012 during a stay in Syria and spent more than two months in a cell in Damascus. Edward Six says his son is currently in good health. But he is very worried about the escalating situation in Venezuela.

Venezuela Maduro staggers

Maduro staggers

The problems of the Venezuelan president grow, his challenger Guaidó is confident of victory. But what guarantees does he have?By Sebastian Schoepp


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