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Guaido’s top aide detained on suspicion of plotting terror attack - interior minister

Guaido’s top aide detained on suspicion of plotting terror attack - interior minister

The Treasury Department indicated it decided the latest sanctions in response to the arrest by Venezuelan authorities of the aide to opposition leader Juan Guaido. "Maduro and his enablers have distorted the original objective of the bank, which was founded to help the economic and social well-being of the Venezuelan people, as part of a desperate attempt to hold onto power", said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

Today's action designating BANDES and its subsidiaries follows a determination by Secretary of the Treasury, Steven T. Mnuchin, in consultation with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, that persons operating in Venezuela's financial sector may be subject to sanctions.

On January 23 Venezuelan National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido proclaimed himself as the country's acting president.

As Venezuela's political and economic crisis deepens under Nicolas Maduro, many nations around the world, including the United States, are demanding the president stand aside and make way for opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Maduro has described Guaido as a "puppet" in a US scheme to overthrow him.

They have threatened ever harsher sanctions meant to further isolate Maduro and cut off his administration's sources of revenue, but the humanitarian and political costs of further blanket measures could be high.

Guaido had earlier accused the Venezuelan security forces of "planting" weapons at Marrero's house, while John Bolton, US President Donald Trump's national security adviser, immediately denounced Marrero's arrest as "illegitimate" and stressed that the move will "not go unanswered".

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The United States this month withdrew all its diplomats from Venezuela.

"The work by the intelligence and interior ministry units led to the detention of citizen Roberto Marrero, aged 49, who bears direct responsibility for organizing criminal groups", the minister said in a statement aired by the Venezolana de Television TV channel.

Workers from Venezuela's state oil company, PDVSA, participate in an "anti-imperialist" march to support Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in front of the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, January 31, 2019.

The crisis has put some Caribbean nations in a tough spot.

St. Lucia Prime Minister Allen Michael Chastanet said it's been since the Reagan administration that the US has taken an interest in the Caribbean and acknowledged that Trump's invitation was likely due to their support of the USA stance against Venezuela at the Organization of American States.

Mr Trump's administration called on Mr Maduro to step down and seized billions of dollars' worth of Venezuela's oil assets.

"The Chengdu meeting would have been a great opportunity for China to readjust the trilateral relationship with the U.S. and Latin America", Zhang said. "Most people recognize the need for new elections", Chastanet said, adding that any disagreement they have is in how that will play out.

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