The Venezuelan soldiers who participated in the U.S.-backed coup attempt in April of this year and subsequently fled to the U.S. have been incarcerated in ICE detention camps ever since. Telemundo, a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, secured an interview with Major Hugo Parra, the highest-ranking of the handful of soldiers who answered self-declared President Juan Guaidó’s call to overthrow the government of Nicolas Maduro. After the coup ended in spectacular failure, Parra revealed that he fled the country, ending up in the United States on April 11, where he expected to be given a hero’s welcome for his part in the Trump-approved insurrection.
Instead, he was immediately detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), first kept in a facility in Texas, then later transferred to the Winn Correctional Center in Louisiana. He has been refused all requests for bail or appointments to see a judge, one of nearly 42,000 people, most of them from Latin America, currently locked up in ICE prisons.
Parra told the pro-coup Telemundo:
I have fallen to rock bottom. I have lost everything: my family, my house. My actions were worth nothing. I don’t see any way out.”
Thus, his attempts to bring about a U.S.-backed far-right military regime in Venezuela ended ironically with him in the custody of a militarized authoritarian system he was trying to establish.