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Venezuela: Guaido's deputy's detainment illegal, says Pompeo

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The US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Thursday (local time) called Venezuelan National Assembly's Vice President's detainment as an illegal act, calling for his immediate release.

The top National Assembly leader, Edgar Zambrano, is one of the seven leaders whose parliamentary immunity was revoked following the opposition's failed attempt at ousting elected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on April 30.

"The arbitrary arrest yesterday evening of Edgar Zambrano, First Vice President of Venezuela's National Assembly, is an unacceptable and illegal act that is yet another reflection of the repression of the former Maduro regime," Pompeo said in a statement.

"This is an attack on the independence of the nation's democratically elected legislative branch and is part of the Maduro regime's continued attempts to crush dissent and free debate in Venezuela," he added.

This comes as Venezuela facing a political crisis, which saw National Assembly President Juan Guaido declaring himself as the President of the nation -- a move which was immediately backed by the United States.

However, the South American nation's elected President, Nicolas Maduro, refused to step down from his post, leading to an escalation of tensions within the country. The USA and over 50 other countries currently recognise Guaido as the legitimate interim President of the Latin American nation.

Maduro has time and again enforced the military's support for his rule, slamming external, especially US interference in the nation.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 10 2019. 15:42 IST