Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido accused President Nicolas Maduro’s regime on Thursday of “dismantling” parliament after three lawmakers sought diplomatic refuge while another was arrested for treason.
“If we can talk about a coup d’etat in Venezuela, here it is: the dismantling of the national parliament,” Guaido told a news conference, accusing Maduro’s regime of “state terrorism.”
Guido, who considers himself the country’s legitimate acting leader, spoke out after opposition lawmakers Richard Blanco, Mariela Magallanes and Americo De Grazia sought refuge in the Argentine and Italian embassies in Caracas.
They are among 10 National Assembly members charged with treason for supporting Guaido’s call for a military revolt on April 30.
The group also includes Edgar Zambrano, vice-president of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled parliament, who was seized by intelligence agents on Wednesday night.
Guaido led around 30 members of the armed forces in trying to spark an insurrection to dislodge Maduro 10 days ago, but while it provoked two days of deadly clashes, it quickly fizzled out.
Venezuela was plunged into turmoil in January when Guaido declared himself acting president in a direct challenge to Maduro’s authority.