Venezuela’s Interior Minister has confirmed the arrest of self-proclaimed ‘interim president’ Juan Guaido’s chief of staff. The opposition claims he was ‘kidnapped’ while authorities say he was the leader of a ‘terrorist cell.’
Roberto Marrero was taken into custody on Thursday as part of the government raid against a “terrorist cell” that plotted to carry out attacks against top Venezuelan politicians, the Minister of the Interior, Justice and Peace, Néstor Reverol, said in a statement.
Dichas investigaciones condujeron a la detención de Roberto Marrero (49) y Luis Alberto Páez Salazar (34) responsables directos de la organización de estos grupos criminales. Durante un allanamiento se les incautó un lote de armas de guerra y dinero efectivo en divisa extranjera. pic.twitter.com/K1lRJzlZfS
— MPPRIJP (@MIJPVenezuela) March 21, 2019
Together with the Public Prosecutor's Office, the investigations led to the detention of the citizen, Roberto Eugenio Marrero Borgas, who is directly responsible for the organization of criminal groups,” he said.
The government also released images of two rifles allegedly seized by the Venezuelan Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) during the raid on Marrero’s house.
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.”
Maduro has made another big mistake. The illegitimate arrest of Roberto Marrero, Interim President Juan Guaidó’s aide, will not go unanswered. He should be released immediately and his safety guaranteed.
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) March 21, 2019
Read more: ‘Armed terrorist cell’: Venezuela’s Interior Minister confirms arrest of Guaido’s aide