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Venezuelan intelligence raids opposition leader Guaido's offices, says lawmaker

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido in Caracas, Venezuela on January 11, 2020.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido in Caracas, Venezuela on January 11, 2020. © Manaure Quintero/REUTERS

Agents from Venezuela's Sebin intelligence service on Tuesday raided the offices of opposition leader Juan Guaido while he was in London for talks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, an opposition lawmaker said.

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"We have just confirmed that Sebin officers are inside the office of president Guaido," lawmaker Delsa Solorzano told reporters after speaking with security guards at Caracas' Zurich Tower.

National Assembly leader Guaido has been recognized as president by the United States and around 50 other countries in his power struggle with socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

The tower where the offices are located had been surrounded in the afternoon by hooded and armed Sebin officers dressed in black.

The offices were empty when the search began, the opposition said, adding that several lawmakers had been unable to gain access.

Lawmaker Angel Torres said the agents "abruptly entered" the offices, amid opposition fears they could plant false evidence.

The 36-year-old Guaido has defied a travel ban to fly to London as part of a European trip which will include a visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Despite international support, efforts to oust Maduro have stalled and the socialist leader retains the support of the powerful armed forces, as well as that of allies China, Russia and Cuba.

(AFP)

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