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Slain rebel emerges as symbol against Venezuela regime

MiamiHerald / He had to die to be taken seriously.

Óscar Pérez, 36, stepped into the spotlight pulling a couple of daring stunts to try to jumpstart an insurrection against the Nicolás Maduro regime. But the former cop, who also was a pilot and aspiring actor, was distrusted – even openly rejected – by most in the Venezuelan opposition movement. Until he was killed by government forces.

While it remains to be seen if Perez’s example ends up inspiring the rebellion for which he risked his life, his death did become the perfect illustration of the extremes to which the Maduro government is willing to use violence in order to squelch any potential uprising.

“Óscar Pérez’s death showed the world the true nature of the regime,” former Colombian President Andrés Pastrana said in a telephone interview.

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