Oscar Alejandro recounts jail time in Venezuela
Courtesy Oscar Alejandro

MIAMI - Before last weekend, popular YouTuber Óscar Alejandro Pérez, was known for his vibrant travel and lifestyle content. Now his name is associated with a harrowing story after spending 36 hours arrested in Venezuela under charges of terrorism and incitement to hatred.

Even though he was released on Tuesday morning, his ordeal is far from over. Venezuelan authorities have ordered him to remain available for future questioning despite being told that he could leave the country, which seems complicated. The veracity of his freedom to travel will be tested once he tries to return to Miami, where he currently lives.

Óscar Alejandro had traveled to Venezuela to visit his family, film travel videos, and give a conference about how to succeed in the digital world. His future is now uncertain.

However, that may be the least of his worries at the moment. In a moving video on his YouTube channel, he recounted his horrifying experience, detailing the moment he was detained. At times, he appeared to be on the verge of tears. His words reflect the vulnerability of many Venezuelan people, who have for years faced arbitrary detentions under the Nicolás Maduro regime, which regularly violates both international and local laws, as well as human rights, organizations like the UN have concluded.

Óscar Alejandro in his own words

According to his recount, the ordeal began on a seemingly normal day, March 31, when, accompanied by his mother and brother, he arrived at the airport for a trip to Canaima National Park, a Unesco World Heritage site.

Little did they know that a routine check-in would escalate into a full-blown legal drama. Oscar's plans for a joyous family celebration were abruptly halted when officials informed him of an arrest warrant linked to a controversial statement made in a 2023 YouTube video.

Oscar Alejandro explained that his offhand comment about the potential vulnerability of a financial building's server in Caracas "was taken out of context," but they led to serious accusations nonetheless. He was handcuffed in a cell for 32 agonizing hours, disconnected from the outside world, a first and harrowing experience for the content creator. Oscar's narration of these events highlighted his confusion and distress, as officials struggled to clarify the reasons behind his arrest.

"I was really very nervous, dreading with anxiety. Without any information, I am completely disconnected from the world. I had never been imprisoned in my life, I had never worn handcuffs, and the feeling of being practically unable to move is the worst thing that can happen to a human being," he recalled. "Although it's true I was treated with respect, and theoretically they treated me well, being handcuffed is a sensation that I cannot describe."

"I was not informed in any way or through any means that I had a request to present myself before the authorities of this country," he added.

Following a tense night, the legal proceedings began in the Venezuelan capital. Oscar Alejandro was brought before a judge, facing charges of terrorism and incitement to hatred. However, the judge ruled in his favor, citing insufficient evidence and questionable legal grounds for the charges.

In an interview with TV Azteca, he recognized that he was terrified the whole time, "because I know of people that spend months in jail before being able to see a judge, so yes, I thought about the worst."

Oscar Alejandro also admitted that the fact that he remains in the country has him "Very scared," and admitted to be "morally destroyed."

What's next for the YouTuber

While he is at his mother's home in the Venezuelan city of Valencia, located 105 miles west of Caracas, Óscar Alejandro doesn't know when he will be allowed to leave the country.

He plans to still give hold his conference on Saturday "because I committed to it," but "I am not in the mood to do anything else."

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