Guaido Deputy Detained in Caracas

11 May, 2019, 06:37 | Author: Emmett Rice

Venezuelan intelligence agents detained opposition leader Juan Guaido's congressional deputy on Wednesday, using a tow truck to drag his vehicle away with him inside, prompting the US government to warn of "consequences" if he was not released.

The US, Canada, some Latin American and European nations were quick to recognize Guaido as the new legitimate leader of Venezuela and have supported him in his attempts to oust Maduro from power.

Zambrano, opposition leader and self-declared President Juan Guaido's deputy as National Assembly speaker, was detained by agents in Caracas for backing the failed April 30 military uprising against President Nicolas Maduro, which was orchestrated by Guaido.

The United States warned the Maduro government of "consequences" if Zambrano is not released, while Guaido said on Twitter that "the regime has kidnapped the first vice president".

Maduro is refusing to pay because Guaido controls Citgo now, and the PDVSA bond is backed by shares in the U.S. refiner.

The USA and over 50 other countries now recognise Guaido as the legitimate interim President of the Latin American nation. The Maduro government accuses Zambrano of being involved in that attempted uprising, NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

Blanco and Zambrano are among 10 opposition lawmakers stripped of parliamentary immunity by the Supreme Court this week.

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Shortly before his arrest, Zambrano said on Twitter that agents of the SEBIN intelligence agency had encircled his vehicle outside the headquarters of the Democratic Action party.

"All united to vote and win", in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, May 8, 2019, after National Assembly Vice President Edgar Zambrano was arrested when leaving the headquarters. On Wednesday, the court accused three others of the same crimes.

Intelligence agents used a tow truck to drag the vice-president of parliament, still inside his vehicle, to the notorious "Helicoide" interrogation centre in Caracas on Wednesday.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday the Trump administration would soon sanction the 25 remaining members of the court.

Guaido led around 30 members of the armed forces in trying to spark an insurrection to dislodge Maduro on April 30, but it quickly fizzled out after two days of clashes that left several people dead.

The Constituent Assembly, which Maduro created to sideline the National Assembly, has said it will suspend the immunity of any lawmakers who backed the uprising.

Maduro revealed that he was given head-ups by Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino, Supreme Court chief Maikel Moreno and chief of the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence, Iván Hernández Dala, about Figuera's "strange behavior" in run-up to the coup attempt.



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