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Maduro government too afraid to arrest me: Guaido

Caracas, May 9 (IANS) Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has said that he remains a free man because the government of incumbent President Nicolas Maduro is “too afraid” of the consequences of arresting him.

“Because they’re scared. Those that try to spread or generate a perception of control are the ones that don’t have it,” Guaido told CNN in an interview on Wednesday.

The Maduro government has accused Guaido, the opposition controlled National Assembly president, and several other opposition leaders of planning a failed coup on April 30.

Guaido has been recognised by more than 50 countries, including the US, as Venezuela’s interim president after he self-proclaimed it on January 23.

In the interview, Guaido was at times vague and evasive when trying to explain why his political uprising failed.

“We have offered amnesty, perhaps not enough. We have to insist. Now there is a fundamental element — the armed forces — they will have an important role not only in the transition but the reconstruction of Venezuela,” he said.

Asked if US military intervention was still an option, Guaido indicated it would be one of the final options and clarified that military action did not have to come from Washington.

Guaido told CNN that he has remained in close touch with the US President Donald Trump’s administration and was in contact with American officials earlier this week.

He however, would not elaborate on his next moves or offer a time line on what happens next for him and his supporters.

Guaido’s comments came just hours before one of his closest allies and Vice President of the National Assembly, Edgar Zambrano was arrested by security forces with Venezuela’s intelligence agency, SEBIN.

Guaido tweeted later on Wednesday night that the Maduro government had “kidnapped” Zambrano.

“They are trying to break up the body that represents all Venezuelans, but they will not achieve it,” he said in his tweet.

–IANS

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