A Jewish News writer has been robbed and beaten by heavily armed guerrillas sympathetic to President Nicolas Maduro.
Tweeting from a stranger’s phone, Swedish national Annuka H. Rothstein said she was attacked and detained by “heavily armed and masked” guerillas in the city of San Antonio del Táchira.
She was “robbed and beaten along with my security and then they forced us to get on our stomachs while they held guns to the back of our heads. They took everything we had,” she wrote.
She described the abductors as “HEAVILY armed and I truly believed they would kill us all, they saw my camera and press pass and put guns on us all.”
I want everyone to know what these people, this regime, is doing to its people and to anyone who tries to expose them. I am safe now but we are trying to get back to Caracas tonight. My body hurts, my soul hurts but I will never forget the Venezuelans who warned us and helped us https://t.co/yQJT4ZzDy6
— Annika H Rothstein (@truthandfiction) February 23, 2019
“After they finally let us go we only got 10 minutes down the road before gunfire broke out on both sides and we hid in a shed for over an hour,” she also tweeted.
“They yelled at me that I was trying to infiltrate Venezuela and that what I was doing was a crime, they took my things and called it contraband and slapped me across the face when I didn’t move because of shock.”
She also wrote as part of the thread: “I want everyone to know what these people, this regime, is doing to its people and to anyone who tries to expose them. I am safe now but we are trying to get back to Caracas tonight.
“My body hurts, my soul hurts but I will never forget the Venezuelans who warned us and helped us.”
She added: “Today I had a taste of what Venezuelans have gone through for over two decades and it was terrifying and humiliating and I hope if nothing else these tweets can help the world see what Venezuela is suffering under and in some small way contribute to an opening of eyes.”
She said that she would not cut her trip short and would remain in the area for the next week.
Rothstein contributes to several Jewish titles, including Jewish News.
The National Union of Press Workers (SNTP) of Venezuela condemned the attack.
Juan Guaido, the president of the National Assembly of Venezuela, declared himself the country’s interim president on Jan. 23 and called on Maduro to order new elections, saying Maduro’s 2018 re-election was fraudulent.
The country’s military remains loyal to Maduro, however.