Venezuelan Opposition Lawmaker Enters Italian Embassy in Caracas

Juan Guaido

The same politicians had already been accused by the country's Supreme Court of conspiracy, rebellion and treason and raised the same accusations against three more MPs.

The opposition does not recognize the assembly's decisions. The prosecution charges them with high treason, public conspiring for violating the law, inciting civil uprising, and power usurpation, among other crimes.

On the Twitter account of its now-closed embassy in Caracas, Washington called the detention "illegal and inexcusable", warning of "consequences" if he is not immediately released.

Zambrano was arrested by Maduro's SEBIN intelligence service in dramatic circumstances on Wednesday for supporting the April 30 revolt organized by US-backed Guaido.

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Zambrano said on Twitter that at about 6.40pm local time SEBIN agents had surrounded his vehicle outside the headquarters of his Democratic Action party in Caracas' La Florida district. The European Union and several Latin American states echoed his criticism while the USA called for his immediate release.

"We Democrats will remain on war footing", he said.

He has since been recognized by more than 50 countries as he steps up the pressure to oust Maduro, whom he considers illegitimate after 2018 elections widely seen as fraudulent.

"They will have to pay before the courts for the failed coup that they attempted", he said, according to Reuters. Maduro, who was re-elected previous year in a disputed vote, has presided over an economic collapse and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. Authorities have not yet tried to arrest him, but Maduro has said he will 'face justice'.

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Earlier on Wednesday, the Supreme Court's head, Maikel Moreno, rebuffed America's threats to sanction his court's members if they did not reject Maduro's government.

The Trump administration blames Mr Maduro's socialist policies and government mismanagement for Venezuela's economic crunch, warning that 2 million more people are expected to flee by the end of the year if the crisis continues.

The U.S. government lifted sanctions on Cristopher this week, in a bid to encourage other top officials to withdraw support for Maduro.

Hours later General Miguel Rodríguez Torres, 57, a former interior minister in the Maduro government who has been held by military intelligence since March, was said to have been transferred...

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