Venezuela opposition leader arrested, says Guaido

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Venezuelan opposition leader Gilberto Sojo was arrested Thursday evening by police, opposition leader Juan Guaido announced on Twitter.

Regarded by the United States and other countries as the interim president of Venezuela, Guaido accused a special police unit, the FAES, of arresting Gilberto Sojo. “They will not stop us in our struggle,” he said.

Authorities did not confirm the arrest.

Gilberto Sojo is a member of Voluntad Popular, the party to which Mr. Guaido belongs. He was a member of the National Assembly, Venezuela’s unicameral parliament, when it was the only institution controlled by the opposition, before the legislative elections on December 6.

These elections, boycotted by the main opposition parties who consider them fraudulent, allowed the Chavista power of President Nicolas Maduro to regain control of the National Assembly, in which it currently holds 256 of the 277 seats.

The United States, the European Union and several Latin American countries have not recognized these legislative acts and do not consider the resulting Assembly to be legitimate.

“Gilberto Sojo was kidnapped by the repressive organs of the dictatorship,” said a message posted on the Twitter account of the previous National Assembly.

Mr. Guaido, supported by the United States, affirms that only this National Assembly, of which he was president, is legitimate.

Gilberto Sojo was accused by the Venezuelan authorities of subversion projects in the context of protests against President Maduro in 2014 in which 43 people were killed. He was in detention from 2014 to 2016.

Mr. Sojo was then elected deputy deputy for the period 2016-2021.