EU Slams Arrest of Senior Venezuelan Opposition Figure

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The lawmakers say National Assembly Vice President Edgar Zambrano was in his auto when it was surrounded by heavily armed police outside his Democratic Action party's headquarters Wednesday.

Party head Carlos Prosperi said security forces towed Zambrano's vehicle away while the lawmaker still inside.

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. "He was one of the main [leaders] of the coup", Maduro's second-in-command, Diosdado Cabello, said on television, according to the Guardian.

Maduro's chief adversary, opposition leader Juan Guaido, portrayed the arrest and targeting of members of the assembly as acts of desperation by a government whose leaders don't know who to trust.

The opposition said Mr Maduro had stacked the court with his own supporters.

Moscow accused the U.S. of supporting coup attempts and planning a military intervention in the Latin American state.

- Venezuela's PDVSA now has a board controlled by Maduro and another ad hoc board controlled by the opposition - and the state-run oil giant has passed its April 29 deadline for making a $71-million interest payment on its 2020 bond (it has a 30-day grace period).

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On Wednesday Maduro warned of a possible "military escalation" with neighboring Colombia - which recognizes Guaido as interim president - after Bogota accused Caracas of sheltering leftist guerrillas on its territory. If he is not immediately freed, there will be consequences, ' the embassy said on Twitter.

It was not yet clear if Zambrano was already at the Helicoide.

Edgar Zambrano is deputy to National Assembly speaker Guaido, who organised the revolt by around 30 members of the armed forces, many of whom subsequently fled to the Brazilian embassy. Maduro, who was re-elected past year in a disputed vote, has presided over an economic collapse and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

"Investigations have succeeded in proving that General Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera has been recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency for more than a year", Maduro said, adding that justice would be served on the "traitor" Figuera "sooner rather than later".

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has threatened Maduro's government with a harsh response should it ever detain Guaido.

"America stands with the GREAT PEOPLE of Venezuela for however long it takes!"

Hours later General Miguel Rodríguez Torres, 57, a former interior minister in the Maduro government who has been held by military intelligence since March, was said to have been transferred... The SEBIN used a tow truck to drag Mr Zambrano's vehicle away while he was still inside and then detained him.