Venezuelan Intelligence Agents Detains Top Guaido Aide

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 09-May-2019

Venezuelan intelligence agents on Wednesday, May 8, arrested the deputy leader of the opposition-dominated National Assembly, a move immediately denounced by its leader Juan Guaido.

Edgar Zambrano, Guaido’s deputy as National Assembly speaker, was detained by intelligence agents in Caracas for backing the failed April 30 uprising orchestrated by Guaido.

“We warn the people of Venezuela and the international community: the regime has kidnapped the first vice-president” of the National Assembly, Guaido said in a Twitter message.

“They are trying to destroy the power representing all Venezuelans, but they will not achieve it,” Guaido said.

Separately, Venezuela’s Supreme Court indicted three more lawmakers for backing Guaido’s uprising.

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The three – named as Freddy Superlano, Sergio Vergara and Juan Andres Mejia – are accused of high treason and conspiracy.

It brings to 10 the number of opposition lawmakers indicted for supporting Guaido, following a court announcement indicting seven others on Tuesday.

Soon after the announcement, the Constituent Assembly – which effectively acts as a regime rubber stamp – stripped the seven of their parliamentary immunity.

Guaido, who is recognized as Venezuela’s interim president by more than 50 countries, was himself stripped of his immunity on April 2.

The Constituent Assembly has said it would suspend the immunity of any lawmakers who backed the uprising, which set off two days of clashes between security forces and protesters. Attorney General Tarek William Saab says the clashes left six people dead.

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Dozens more were injured and more than 233 were arrested.

Guaido said in a speech after the first indictments on Tuesday that the government’s “only response… is to persecute, because they no longer govern, because they no longer have command.”

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