US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told OAS members that "the regime of former President Nicolas Maduro is unlawful," and invited them to recognize Juan Guaido, president of the National Assembly, as Interim President of Venezuela. (January 24th)

WASHINGTON – Venezuelan intelligence officials kidnapped chief opposition chief Juan Guaido's chief of staff and ransacked a second opposition official's residence Thursday, Guaido and other officials said armed officers entered the home of Roberto Marrero, a Guaido lawyer and top consultant , The secret services, loyal to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, planted two rifles and a grenade in the apartment and took Marrero to an unknown location, reports Guaido on Twitter.

"We do not know where he is," Guaido said. "He must be released immediately."

Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo quickly denounced the arrest and demanded Marrero's release.

"The United States is condemning raids on Maduro's security services and the imprisonment of Chief of Staff Roberto Marrero in Interim President @jguaido," Pompeo said in his own Twitter message. "We demand his immediate release and we will hold those involved accountable.

More: Power Out, Water Short, Plunder: What's the next step of the Trump Administration in Venezuela?

Pompeo: Trump confronts Obama's foreign policy failures in Venezuela, other trouble spots

The Trump administration has recognized Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela, calling Maduro a corrupt usurper , The US has imposed oil and gold sanctions against Venezuela and has taken further steps to pressure Maduro.

The country is recovering from the political crisis, and the lack of food and medicines.


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