US ‘warns of 'consequences' after Venezuela detains Guaido top aide
The United States on March 21 warned of "consequences" against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's security services if they continue with a crackdown against opposition leader Juan Guaido and his aides.
A U.S. State Department spokesman called for the release of Guaido's chief of staff, Robert Marrero, who was arrested in a pre-dawn raid.
"The detentions show Maduro is betting on repression to hold on to power. It will not stand," the spokesman said. "There will be consequences for a continued crackdown."
President Donald Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, also called for the immediate release of Marrero and warned that "Maduro has made another big mistake," adding that the arrest "will not go unanswered."
Guaido invoked the constitution in January to assume the interim presidency after declaring Maduro's 2018 re-election a fraud. He has been recognized by the United States and dozens of other Western nations as the country's legitimate leader.
Maduro, who has overseen a dramatic collapse of the OPEC nation's economy, has called Guaido a puppet of the United States and said he should "face justice," but has not explicitly called for his arrest.
Venezuelan Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said authorities had seized an arms cache from Marrero during the raid and said he was "directly responsible for the organization" of criminal groups. On state television, Reverol showed an image of two rifles that Marrero allegedly had in his possession.