The president of major Latin American media outlet Telesur, Patricia Villegas Marin, has sent a message of support to RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan following a foiled assassinate plot against the Russian journalist. Nicaragua’s vice president, Rosario Murillo, also condemned the plan, which was reportedly orchestrated by Ukrainian intelligence.
“Our solidarity [is] with Margarita and the RT and Sputnik Mundo teams that she manages masterfully,” Villegas wrote in a Twitter post on Saturday. Earlier that day, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) reported that it had arrested a group of neo-Nazis who were allegedly planning to assassinate Simonyan and another prominent Russian journalist, Ksenia Sobchak.
Villegas, who manages the Caracas-based Telesur multiplatform news network, which is financed by Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, had previously expressed solidarity with RT, criticizing the US and its allies over attempts to limit the Russian media outlet’s operations.
In March 2022, Villegas condemned what she called the “censorship” of RT and Sputnik in the EU, branding the bloc’s decision to ban the outlets as “an act of dictatorship.” Brussels took the move in response to the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine.
On Sunday, Simonyan revealed on Telegram that she had received a letter from the Nicaraguan vice president and first lady, Rosario Murillo, in which she also expressed her “deepest solidarity” with RT and its editor-in-chief. Nicaragua “condemns this brutal assassination attempt,” Murillo said, adding that “many other brave and valuable journalists face the hatred of Ukrainian neo-Nazi terrorism.” Nicaragua “vehemently rejects any forms of terrorism,” the vice president added.
The messages of support came after the FSB alleged that members of a neo-Nazi group known as ‘Paragraph 88’ were preparing to assassinate Simonyan and Sobchak. Seven suspects have been arrested in connection with the case.
The Russian security services seized a Kalashnikov assault rifle, 90 cartridges, rubber hoses, knives, brass knuckles, and handcuffs during the operation, the FSB said. The security service also claimed the suspected plotters were acting “on the instructions of the Security Service of Ukraine.”
Following the incident, Simonyan said she was not afraid of dying for her homeland. “Dishonor is worse than death; treason is worse than death,” she added, expressing hope that the suspects would have enough time to redeem their errors and start their lives anew.
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