Venezuela arrests 27

By Associated PressJanuary 21

CARACAS, Venezuela — The Latest on a reported national guard uprising in Venezuela (all times local):

2:50 p.m.

Officials in Venezuela say they’ve arrested 27 members of the National Guard accused of launching an uprising against the government. 

Socialist party chief Diosdado Cabello says more arrests could come. 

Tensions are thick in Venezuela, where the political opposition leaders have called for nationwide protests on Wednesday aimed at driving President Nicolas Maduro from office. 

Opposition leader Juan Guaido is urging the armed forces to abandon Maduro and return Venezuela to constitutional rule. 

Officials say that national guardsmen in the capital of Caracas took captive a captain in charge of a police station and stole a cache of weapons from another outpost on Monday.

The disturbance sparked street protest in the neighborhood of the police station, which other security forces subdued by shooting tear gas. 

11 a.m.

Venezuela’s supreme court says it’s throwing out recent congressional measures that found Nicolas Maduro’s presidency illegitimate — with the pro-government justices ruling that leadership of the opposition-dominated congress itself is invalid.

The high court magistrates say in a statement issued Monday that Venezuela’s chief prosecutor should determine whether to bring criminal charges against congressional leaders.

Opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido was sworn in as the National Assembly’s president on Jan. 5 and immediately preceded to oversee legislation accusing Maduro of usurping power and calling on countries from around the world to freeze his government’s assets.

Maduro was sworn in for a second, six-year term on Jan. 10 despite widespread condemnation that he was taking Venezuela down the path of dictatorship after his main opponents were banned from running in last year’s vote.

9:25 a.m.

Venezuela’s military says it has detained several national guardsmen who stole a cache of weapons and kidnapped two officers.

The statement appears to confirm reports of an uprising by a national guard unit that triggered disturbances in a poor neighborhood a few kilometers (miles) from the presidential palace in Caracas on Monday.

The military says the guardsmen were motivated by far-right groups to betray their oath. It says all of the weapons had been recovered.

Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez sent a message on Twitter promising that the rebellious guardsmen would be punished with the full weight of the law.

2019 The Associated Press


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