Senior Opposition Leader Allied With Guaidó Is Arrested In Venezuela

11 May, 2019, 06:39 | Author: Trevor Moore
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Recounting the sequence of events to NTN24 television station, fellow lawmaker Carlos Prosperi said Zambrano was surrounded by secret service agents after leaving a meeting at the headquarters of their Democratic Action party.

The dramatic scene ended with the auto being towed away to a notorious prison at the headquarters of the Venezuelan secret services.

He said Thursday that the arrest of National Assembly Vice President Edgar Zambrano and probes against several other lawmakers are an attempt to "silence the voice of Venezuelans".

The Wednesday arrest of Edgar Zambrano, vice president of the opposition-controlled National Assembly in Venezuela, was the latest move in a protracted, increasingly murky struggle between two camps vying for support of the military, which has seen some defections but whose loyalty to Maduro has preserved his grip on power. The politician himself was able to denounce on Twitter what was happening to him, as he wrote: "We were surprised by SEBIN, and after refusing to leave our vehicle, they used a crane to take us directly to the Helicoide [a political prison in Caracas]".

Figuera became one of the most senior officials to switch sides and join the Guaido-led opposition.

"They brought a tow-truck, now he's going to have to pay the towing fee", said a smiling Cabello as his audience laughed.

About 50 countries, including the United States and much of Latin America, have recognized Guaido as the country's legitimate leader. "If he is not immediately freed, there will be consequences".

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On Wednesday Maduro warned of a possible "military escalation" with neighboring Colombia - which recognizes Guaido as interim president - after Bogota accused Caracas of sheltering leftist guerrillas on its territory.

Guaido invoked the constitution in January to assume an interim presidency, denouncing Maduro as illegitimate after he secured re-election a year ago in a vote widely viewed as fraudulent. Authorities have not yet tried to arrest him, but Maduro has said he will 'face justice'.

The judicial measure against Zambrano was dictated after he was apprehended once his parliamentary immunity had been raided by the National Constituent Assembly, and by virtue of the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic, for being implicated in the attempted coup d'état.

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has threatened Maduro's government with a harsh response should it ever detain Guaido.

Trump did not mention Zambrano, but said that the United States would stand with the people of Venezuela "for however long it takes".

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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