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    Supporters placed life-size cardboard cutouts of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez outside the Justice Palace as the trial against Lopez for inciting violence at anti-government protests began, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Caracas Accuses Opposition Politician Lopez of Terror Group Creation

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    CARACAS (Sputnik) – The Venezuelan government believes that opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez has created a terror group to counter its policies, Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said.

    "An investigation into attacks on Venezuela has identified one more terrorist group — Cocoon 2.0— which included Leopoldo Lopez and Carlos Vecchio, among other opposition members", Rodriguez said on Thursday, as aired by a Venezuelan state-run TV broadcaster.

    The minister added that the group sought to attack a cashless payment system in Venezuela.

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    Rodriguez explained that the information about the group had been recovered from a mobile phone of opposition leader Juan Guaido’s adviser Roberto Marrero, who was detained in March.

    Lopez is currently under house arrest, serving a 14-year term for having a role in the 2014 violent protests, which claimed the lives of over 40 people. Vechhio is the diplomatic representative of Guaido, who earlier this year proclaimed himself the Venezuelan interim president, in the United States.

    Since January, Venezuela has been rocked by political turmoil which erupted when Guaido, supported by the United States, proclaimed himself Venezuela’s interim president. Since then, Washington has frozen the US-based assets of the Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA in a bid to step up pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Constitutionally elected Maduro, supported by China and Russia among other states, has slammed Washington's "imperialist" moves and accused Guaido of plotting to overthrow him with support from the US.

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (564)

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