Venezuela crisis: Guaido's deputy arrested in Caracas

Venezuela crisis: Guaido's deputy arrested in Caracas

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro created the Constituent Assembly in 2017 in a bid to usurp power from the National Assembly.

Maikel Moreno, president of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, pushed back at comments by Vice President Mike Pence, who said the United States would extend sanctions to all members of the Venezuelan high court if they continued to be a "political tool" of Mr Maduro.

"If the Americans were to propose a military intervention I would probably accept it", he said in an interview with Italian daily newspaper La Stampa.

CARACAS, May 10 ― Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido accused President Nicolas Maduro's regime yesterday of "dismantling" parliament after three lawmakers sought diplomatic refuge while another was arrested for treason.

Guaido, who has been trying to oust President Nicolas Maduro, said Edgar Zambrano had been "kidnapped" with the U.S. warned of "consequences" if he is not released.

The European Union has slammed the detention of leading Venezuelan opposition politician Edgar Zambrano as a "flagrant violation" of the constitution and called for his immediate release, reported dpa news. "He was one of the main [leaders] of the coup", Maduro's second-in-command, Diosdado Cabello, said on television, according to the Guardian.

Shortly before his arrest, Zambrano said on Twitter that agents of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service had encircled his vehicle outside the headquarters of the Democratic Action party.

Edgar Zambrano is deputy to National Assembly speaker Guaido, who organised the revolt by around 30 members of the armed forces, many of whom subsequently fled to the Brazilian embassy.

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"He was captured by the Central Intelligence Agency a year ago and was working as a traitor, mole and infiltrator", Maduro said of Figuera, whose defection to the opposition saw him rewarded earlier this week by the USA, which removed him from its sanctions list.

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.

Venezuela was plunged into turmoil in January when Guaido declared himself acting president in a direct challenge to Maduro's authority.

The Constituent Assembly had already lifted Guaido's immunity in April, accusing him of trying to "usurp" the presidency.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the USA has a "full-scale set of options" to resolve the Venezuelan crisis, claiming that any actions that the U.S. takes in the country would be "lawful".

Attorney General Tarek William Saab says the clashes left six people dead.

Venezuela has suffered more than four years of recession marked by shortages of basic necessities such as food and medicine.

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