Deputy to Venezuela’s Guaido jailed at military prison

Venezuelan police tow deputy opposition leader Edgar Zambrano to jail in his car

Intelligence agents used a tow truck to drag the vice-president of parliament, still inside his auto, to the notorious "Helicoide" interrogation centre in Caracas on Wednesday.

"He was captured by the Central Intelligence Agency a year ago and was working as a traitor, mole and infiltrator", Maduro said of Figuera, whose defection to the opposition saw him rewarded earlier this week by the USA, which removed him from its sanctions list.

Mr Zambrano's detention marked the first arrest of a politician opposing Mr Maduro since Mr Guaido tried to spark a military uprising on April 30 to bring down the socialist Government.

"I warn Venezuela and the worldwide community about the intention of the regime to disintegrate the national Parliament, through attacks carried out by the illegitimate Supreme Court of Justice and the National Constituent Assembly".

Last week, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido called for a military uprising and posted a video message alongside a small contingent of uniformed military personnel and armored vehicles in which he demanded the end of the "usurpation" of Maduro, and continued to urge mass demonstrations against the Venezuelan president.

Edgar Zambrano, left, with Juan Guaidó.

Guaido invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency in January, arguing Maduro's 2018 reelection was illegitimate.

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Lawmaker Marianella Magallanes, who was among those whose immunity was taken away this week, sought refuge in the Italian embassy on Wednesday.

The US government turned off water in the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington on Saturday in order to force the Embassy Protection Collective mission, uniting several antiwar groups, to leave the building, Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of the worldwide human rights groups Global Exchange and Code Pink: Women for Peace, said.

"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".

"One of the principal conspirators of the coup has just been arrested", Diosdado Cabello, head of the Constituent Assembly, said in comments broadcast on state television.

However, the border with Colombia and links with other parts of the former Dutch Antilles will remain shut, Vice President Tareck El Aissami said.

In February, Guaido defied a Supreme Court travel ban to orchestrate aid deliveries from the Colombian side of the border.

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