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Guaido's chief of staff detained after raid

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 21, 2019 - Duration: 01:43s

Guaido's chief of staff detained after raid

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said on Thursday intelligence agents had detained his chief of staff during a pre-dawn raid, a move by President Nicolas Maduro that the Trump administration said would 'not go unanswered.'

Lisa Bernhard

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Guaido's chief of staff detained after raid

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Thursday said the country's intelligence agents kidnapped his chief of staff in a pre-dawn raid.

These photos taken in the home of Roberto Marrero… several rooms ransacked… a doorway destroyed by an apparent forced entry.

Reuters also obtained cell phone images of what appear to be members of Venezuela's intelligence agencies entering Marrero's home.

Guaido, who toured the battered Caracas property Thursday, has demanded Marrero's release.

The abduction of his top aide signaling that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro may be cracking down on Guaido's challenge to his rule - and putting to the test repeated U.S. warnings that the socialist dictator should not go after his opponents.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: 'We really haven't done the really tough sanctions yet.

We can do the tough sanctions, and all options are open, so we may be doing that.'

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also calling for Marrero's release, adding the U.S. will 'hold accountable those involved.'

Guaido, who invoked the constitution to assume the interim presidency in January, has called Maduro's re-election a fraud.

The 35-year old is recognized as the country's leader by the U.S. and many other Western nations.

Maduro is largely blamed - even by Venezuelans - for the dramatic collapse of the nation's economy, and has called Guaido a puppet of the U.S. Guadio's press team also released a voice message recorded by Marrero moments before being abducted in which he says, 'Unfortunately, they have come for me.

Keep in the fight, don't stop and look after the president.'

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