Maduro’s agents arrest opposition leader while surrounding Guaidó’s residence

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The Nicolás Maduro regime arrested former opposition deputy Freddy Guevara on Monday, pulling him out of his car on a Caracas highway, while another group of policemen surrounded the residence of Venezuelan opposition chief Juan Guaidó without actually detaining him.

Guaidó, who spoke to journalists after the government agents left, confirmed that Guevara was forced to get out of his vehicle at the Prados del Este highway in the country’s capital and that the opposition did not know where he is.

“I don’t know the whereabouts of Freddy Guevara. He is missing at this time,“ said Guaidó, while adding the Maduro police also forced their way into his building without any kind of court order, or displaying any type of identification.

The raids were carried out just as the United States announced that it was lifting some of its sanctions on the Venezuelan regime.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio highlighted the fact in a Twitter message. “At the very moment the #MaduroRegime was abducting one prominent member of the opposition & surrounding the home of @jguaido trying to abduct him the Biden Administration was announcing it was removing a sanction on the regime in #Venezuela,” he wrote.

The Biden administration lifted on Monday some of the sanctions that blocked natural gas deals with Venezuela, but maintains a long list of sanctions that prohibit the sales of Venezuelan crude in international markets and the movement through the international financial system of the personal fortunes belonging to key regime members.

After Maduro’s men left the building, Guaidó told reporters that they had been carrying “weapons of war” and detonated an explosive in the building’s basement, but that they did not take him and were forced to leave thanks to the actions of neighbors and the appearance of journalists.

Guevara, however, suffered a different fate he said. He was beaten and has become the latest political prisoner of the regime, Guaidó said.

Guevara’s arrest and the apparent attempt to detain Guaidó comes at a time when the opposition is attempting to engage the regime in a new round of talks sponsored by Norway.

Guaidó said the process will continue despite the regime’s raids on Monday, claiming the initiative is necessary to save the nation amid its humanitarian crisis and the wave of deaths caused by the coronavirus.

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