Venezuelan intelligence agents detained opposition leader Juan Guaido’s congressional deputy on Wednesday, using a tow truck to drag his vehicle away with him inside, prompting the US government to warn of “consequences” if he was not released.
The SEBIN intelligence agency seized Edgar Zambrano, vice president of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, which Guaido heads, in the first arrest of a lawmaker since Guaido tried to spark a military uprising last week to bring down President Nicolas Maduro’s government.
Venezuela’s pro-Maduro Constituent Assembly agreed on Tuesday to strip Zambrano and six other lawmakers of their parliamentary immunity to allow their future prosecution. The opposition does not recognize the assembly’s decisions.
The Supreme Court had earlier accused those lawmakers of conspiracy, rebellion and treason, and accused another three opposition legislators of the same crimes on Wednesday.
The opposition says Maduro has stacked the court with his own supporters, while the US government this week threatened to sanction all its members.
Zambrano is deputy to National Assembly speaker Juan Guaido, who is recognized as the country’s leader by more than 50 states, and who organized the April 30 revolt.