Security forces detain Guaidó aide as tensions rise in Venezuela


Meanwhile, the European Union demanded the Venezuelan government to release Marrero immediately.

US President Donald Trump reiterated this week he was considering "all options" at his disposal to see Maduro dislodged and Guaido installed in power, implying military action if he deemed it necessary.

Marrero recorded a voice message as SEBIN agents were trying to enter his home in Caracas' upscale Las Mercedes neighborhood, which Guaido's press team forwarded to reporters. He returned to the country on March 4, with the US warning Maduro's government not to take action against him.

Venezuela has been in the throes of a political crisis after Guaido proclaimed himself as the President of the nation in January.

By endorsing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's legitimate president, Canada may be setting the beleaguered country up for deadly civil war or exploitation by an oil-hungry US administration, says John Kirk, a professor of Latin American studies at Dalhousie University.

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank have so far not made a decision on whether to recognize Guaido officially as head of state.

"We would like to inform the national and worldwide communities that our intelligence services have dismantled ... a terrorist cell that was planning to carry out a series of targeted attacks", Reverol said in a broadcast on state channel Venezolana de Television. Later, Vergara confirmed the searches in a Twitter post, but said he was not detained.

Vergara said he was woken up by heavy banging at his door and that agents pointed weapons at him.

The Trump administration recognized Guaido as Venezuela's "interim president" on January 23, days after Maduro was inaugurated for a second term as Venezuelan president. Even now, Mr. Marrero is being held against his will in an undisclosed location.

The Venezuelan authorities said they had disrupted the activities of a terror cell that had planned to stage a number of attacks, adding that it could have hired mercenaries from Colombia or Central America to attempt to assassinate the Latin American country's political leaders, military personnel, judges.

The United States has cautioned Maduro against laying a finger on Guaido or National Assembly deputies, threatening unspecified repercussions.

The step is expected to worsen already dire economic conditions ravaging Venezuela, a once-wealthy South American nation that has become impoverished under Maduro.

Venezuela's Interior Minister has confirmed the arrest of self-proclaimed "interim president" Juan Guaido's chief of staff.

Under President Trump, the United States will continue to stand with the people of Venezuela as they reclaim their birthright of libertad.

The vice president pointed out how the USA has responded to the ongoing situation in Venezuela by sanctioning government officials, blocking them from taking US dollars from its state-owned oil company PDVSA and providing more than 525 metric tons of food aid.