Venezuelan Opposition Aide Seized, Drawing Rebuke From U.S.

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Venezuela's government is laying out accusations against a jailed top aide to opposition leader Juan Guaido.

He showed screen grabs of cell phone conversations that he said are proof Marrero was orchestrating the hitmen's payment.

Marrero was arrested at his Caracas home on Thursday, with authorities finding two assault rifles and a grenade as well as large sums of cash in foreign currencies at his home.

Guaido characterized the operation as a sign that Maduro is losing his grip on power.

However, Bachelet also criticized sanctions imposed by the United States targeting the Maduro regime's access to financial resources, arguing that they are also hurting the Venezuelan people.

Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Holness said "it's absolutely important that it's not just talk, that there will be real investments", adding "we're very happy with that message".

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said on Thursday intelligence agents had arrested his chief of staff following a pre-dawn raid, signaling that President Nicolas Maduro may be cracking down on the opposition's challenge to his rule.

Juan Guaido aide detained in overnight raid, Venezuela opposition members say

Rodriguez played recordings he said were from WhatsApp conversations between Marrero and Guaido in which he said they discussed using Venezuelan funds blocked by United States sanctions to finance armed groups with the support of Colombian President Ivan Duque.

The government does not dare arrest Guaido himself and therefore goes for his companions, the opposition leader said at a press conference, according to daily El Nacional.

The US has warned Nicolas Maduro's government against touching the opposition leader or his inner circle, threatening unspecified consequences. And the crowd roared in agreement.Daniel put into words the hope of the people of Venezuela: hope for freedom, opportunity, and an end to the oppressive regime of Nicolas Maduro.

In Washington, President Donald Trump's special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, said he believes Maduro's government is concerned about the worldwide reaction if it tried to arrest Guaido and instead may be targeting Guaido's aides.

"He should be released immediately and his safety guaranteed", Bolton demanded.

Guaido invoked the constitution in January to assume the interim presidency after declaring Maduro's 2018 re-election a fraud, and has been recognized by dozens of Western nations as the country's legitimate leader.

Venezuela's foreign ministry did not answer phone calls seeking comment outside regular working hours on Saturday. He returned to the country on March 4, with the US warning Maduro's government not to take action against him. 13857, for operating in the financial sector of the Venezuelan economy, following a determination by Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, in consultation with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, that persons operating in Venezuela's financial sector may be subject to sanctions pursuant to E.O.

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