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Venezuela crisis: Juan Guaidó deputy arrested in Caracas

10:30, Thursday, 09 May, 2019
Venezuela crisis: Juan Guaidó deputy arrested in Caracas

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó's deputy has been detained by the country's intelligence services. Edgar Zambrano, vice president of the National Assembly, refused to leave his car when approached, and as a result he and his car were towed to prison.

It is the first arrest of an opposition figure since attempts to spark a military rebellion against President Nicolás Maduro last week. Mr Guaidó is recognised as "interim president" by more than 50 nations. Democratic Action party leader Carlos Prosperi told reporters that he had been at a party meeting with Mr Zambrano in the capital Caracas moments before he was arrested by agents from Venezuela's Bolivarian Intelligence Service (Sebin). "The vehicle was surrounded," he said. "They [Sebin agents] wouldn't allow us to get to him. They brought a tow truck and his vehicle was towed away."

He added that they believe he was taken to El Helicoide, a notorious prison in the centre of the city. "We don't know anything about what physical condition he's in and we don't know what is happening at El Helicoide at the moment," Mr Prosperi said. Mr Guaidó also tweeted about the arrest, calling Mr Zambrano's arrest - in particular, the towing of his car - "absurd". The arrest comes one day after Venezuela's Supreme Court ordered that Mr Zambrano and six other National Assembly deputies be charged with treason for their alleged participation in the failed military uprising.

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