Maduro is in his last phase, roars Guaido

Juan Guaidó The Venezuelan opposition leader has US backing

Zhang Sengen, a researcher at the Institute of Latin American Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said China would be careful in how it handled the situation with Maduro and Guaido because it had a huge stake in the Latin American country, and it would not change its stance until the crisis in Venezuela was over.

The United States calls for the immediate release of Roberto Marrero.

In an interview with Reuters on Friday, Guaido said Maduro had lost the ability to "finance political blackmail" to retain power thanks to pressure brought by foreign governments who have recognized him as the South American country's rightful leader in the midst of a hyperinflationary economic collapse.

"The regime's continued use of kidnapping, torture, and murder of Venezuelan citizens will not be tolerated by the USA or the worldwide coalition that is united behind President Guaido".

Guaido had earlier accused the Venezuelan security forces of "planting" weapons at Marrero's house, while John Bolton, US President Donald Trump's national security adviser, immediately denounced Marrero's arrest as "illegitimate" and stressed that the move will "not go unanswered".

The US has warned Nicolas Maduro's government against touching the opposition leader or his inner circle, threatening unspecified consequences.

"We announced that OPIC will give priority status to these five countries and send a high level delegation in the next 90 days", it said, referring to the USA government-owned Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

"I am also concerned about increasing restrictions on freedom of expression and of the press in Venezuela, and the allegations that the authorities have arbitrarily used the law against hatred, adopted in November 2017, to prosecute journalists, opposition leaders and anyone expressing dissenting opinions", she continued.

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Maduro, who is the elected President of the nation, decried the events and accused the USA of plotting a coup to overthrow him by supporting Guaido.

Vergara said Thursday's raid, which occurred around 2:00 am (0600 GMT), was carried out by around 15 officers of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service, or SEBIN.

"The dictatorship is abducting citizens", Vergara said. The U.S. and 50 other countries continue to call for Maduro to step down.

"When the dictator Maduro uses imprisonment & intimidation against the legitimate government of Venezuela, America will respond". On January 28 the USA imposed sancitons on Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA oil company.

Guaido said since Maduro's government could not arrest the interim president, they were trying to arrest those close to him instead.

In a statement, Venezuela's foreign ministry said it "energetically rejects the unilateral, coercive, arbitrary and illegal measures" taken by the Trump administration. And Trump has not always been kind to impoverished nations like some in the region.

The United States this month withdrew all its diplomats from Venezuela.

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