The Venezuelan authorities arrested two members of the security team of opposition leader Juan Guaidó and continued to pressure their US-backed opponents, although both sides are in talks to find a solution to the country's political stalemate.
The two men were planning Socialist party leader Diosdado Cabello said Saturday he wanted to sell four state weapons that were allegedly used in Guaidó's failed military uprising on 30 April. Information Minister Jorge Rodríguez also said the alleged attempt to sell weapons while negotiating with the government reflected the fraud of the opposition.
He said the government will later provide evidence of allegations that the opposition considers wrong.
Guaidó tweets on Friday The two members of his team, Erick Sánchez and Jason Parisi, have been detained in Caracas while providing security for his family while away from the capital. He speculated that the authorities would equip the two men with weapons in order to capture them in what he saw was a case against his incarcerated Chief of Staff Roberto Marrero.
"We know what we are fighting for: a dictatorship," said Guaidó, speaking to supporters in the western state of Trujillo on Saturday.
Despite tensions over the arrests, there was no immediate indication that plans to resume talks between the Venezuelan government and the opposition would be disrupted. The two sides held several discussion days last week on the Caribbean island of Barbados, saying they would continue negotiations next week.
Government and opposition gave up optimistic ratings after the last round of negotiations, although this had collapsed in previous years and important issues remain controversial. Guaidó claims that Maduro's re-election last year was invalid and wanted early presidential elections: the government accused the opposition of inciting violence.
As political strife stretches, Venezuela is sinking deeper into an economic and humanitarian crisis that has forced millions of people to leave the country in recent years.
The United States has sanctioned Venezuela to try to oust Maduro. This aggravates the plight of a country whose economy, including the major oil industry, has been in sharp decline for many years. [1