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Venezuela's Guaido Says His Deputy Detained in First Major Arrest Since Uprising

Venezuela's Guaido Says His Deputy Detained in First Major Arrest Since Uprising
Juan Guaido (AP)

Wednesday, 08 May 2019 08:15 PM

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said on Wednesday that intelligence agents had detained his deputy, the first arrest of a lawmaker since Guaido tried to spark a military uprising last week to bring down President Nicolas Maduro's government.

Edgar Zambrano, vice president of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, which Guaido heads, said on Twitter that agents from the SEBIN intelligence agency were using a tow truck to drag his vehicle, with him inside, to their Caracas headquarters.

On Tuesday, Venezuela's pro-Maduro Constituent Assembly ruled to strip Zambrano, and six other lawmakers, of their parliamentary immunity to allow their future prosecution.

The Supreme Court had earlier accused the lawmakers of crimes including conspiracy, rebellion and treason, without defining which actions of theirs were considered as criminal. The opposition says Maduro has stacked the court with his own supporters.

An attempted uprising last week led by Guaido, recognized as the legitimate head of state by the United States and other Western countries, failed to dislodge Maduro, as have a series of U.S. sanctions against his government. Maduro decried the events as an attempted coup.

"One of the principal conspirators of the coup has just been arrested," Diosdado Cabello, head of the Constituent Assembly, said in comments broadcast on state television.

Zambrano said on Twitter that SEBIN agents had surrounded his vehicle by the headquarters of his Democratic Action party in Caracas' La Florida district.

"We were surprised by the SEBIN, and after refusing to let us leave our vehicle, they used a tow truck to forcibly transfer us directly to the (SEBIN headquarters) Helicoide," he said.

"The regime has kidnapped the first vice president," Guaido said on Twitter.

Guaido in January invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, denouncing Maduro as illegitimate after he secured re-election last year in a vote widely viewed as fraudulent.

© 2019 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said on Wednesday that intelligence agents had detained his deputy, the first arrest of a lawmaker since Guaido tried to spark a military uprising last week to bring down President Nicolas Maduro's government. Edgar Zambrano, vice...
juan guaido, deputy, arrested, venezuela
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2019-15-08
Wednesday, 08 May 2019 08:15 PM
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