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Montevideo, September 25th 2022 - 20:33 UTC

 

 

Venezuelan president Guaidó meets Johnson in London; in Caracas his office was raided by Maduro's secret service agents

Thursday, January 23rd 2020 - 10:59 UTC
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“Cowardly dictatorship!” tweeted Mr Guaidó, who held talks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London “Cowardly dictatorship!” tweeted Mr Guaidó, who held talks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London
Opposition MPs said they had been prevented from entering the offices by Sebin agents. Lawmaker Torres said there were fears that they would plant false evidence Opposition MPs said they had been prevented from entering the offices by Sebin agents. Lawmaker Torres said there were fears that they would plant false evidence

Venezuelan secret service agents have raided the offices of opposition leader Juan Guaidó while he is on a visit to the UK. Footage showed hooded and armed officers from the Sebin service outside the building in Caracas.

“Cowardly dictatorship!” tweeted Mr Guaidó, who held talks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London. Mr Guaidó is recognized by more than 60 countries, including the UK and the US, as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.

However, President Nicolás Maduro, who enjoys the support of the Venezuelan military, has managed to remain in power.

Opposition MPs said they had been prevented from entering the offices by Sebin agents. Lawmaker Angel Torres said the black-clad officers “abruptly entered” the building. He said there were fears that they would plant false evidence against Mr Guaidó.

The opposition Popular Will party also accused police of detaining MP Ismael Leon on a main road in Caracas.

“As we are travelling... they kidnap @leon_ismael and raid our office,” Mr Guaidó tweeted. “The world receives and supports us! We stand firm, we will achieve freedom,” he added.

It is no coincidence that the raid happened while Mr Guaidó was abroad looking for a much needed new push to his year-long effort to oust President Maduro. While agents searched his offices in Caracas, he was telling cheering supporters in London that he would “win very soon”.

Guaidó will try to convince the EU to impose new restrictions, targeting, for example, the country's gold trade. But many criticize these measures, saying they exacerbate the suffering of people who are already in desperate need. Mr Guaidó, however, dismissed this, saying Mr Maduro was the only one to blame.

During his trip to Europe Mr Guaidó is expected to visit the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

On Monday, he travelled to Colombia to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the sidelines of a regional conference. He was received by Colombian President Iván Duque with full presidential honors.

Mr Pompeo called on other countries to co-operate in efforts to remove President Maduro from office. Maduro accuses the US of orchestrating a coup to oust him.

The rivalry between Guaidó and Maduro flared recently when Mr Guaidó stood for re-election as National Assembly Speaker, the position on which his claim to the post of acting president rests.

He was prevented by the National Guard from entering the National Assembly building, forcing him to move the session to another location where about 100 lawmakers re-elected him.

Years of turmoil have left Venezuela in the grip of a crippling economic and political crisis. According to the UN, 4.8 million Venezuelans have left their country since 2016, with 1.6 million arriving in neighboring Colombia. Almost a quarter of Venezuela's 30 million people are in need of aid, the UN says.

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