US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo turned to Twitter to criticize, yet again, the legitimate Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, after the detention of self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido's deputy Edgar Jose Zambrano.
Pompeo, while dubbing Maduro's government a "tyrannical regime," claimed that the "Venezuelan people demand justice" with respect to the detained Zambrano. The latter, Pompeo said, "deserves to be free."
The detention of @EdgarZambranoAD is yet another desperate act of a tyrannical regime. The Venezuelan people demand justice. #Venezuela, like all of Maduro’s political prisoners, deserves to be free. #EstamosUnidosVE https://t.co/0HilWYnCRo— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 10, 2019
At the same time a press statement by Pompeo, released on US Department of State website calls the detention of Zambrano, who was, along with other opposition lawmakers stripped of his immunity and charged with high treason, public conspiracy to violate the law, inciting civil uprising, usurpation of power and other crimes characterized as "unacceptable and illegal acts."
When referring to Nicolas Maduro's regime, Pompeo, according to the statement, calls it "former," while accusing the latter of "continued attempts to crush dissent and free debate in Venezuela."
Earlier in the day, one of those opposition lawmakers who was suspected in taking part in the coup attempt, Americo de Grazia entered the Italian embassy in Caracas.
"I thank Italy for the welcome," De Grazia wrote on Twitter, though he did not say he had taken refuge in the embassy, Reuters report says.
Juan Guaido, following the arrest of Zambrano, accused Maduro of "state terrorism," Reuters reported.
When asked by CBS about the possibility of a US military intervention in Venezuela, opposition leader Juan Guaido confirmed that he is still considering it an "option", claiming that he is trying to find the "best exit out of [the] conflict".
"We are open to options that offer a low social cost and that will grant us the ability and the stability to hold a truly free election", he said.
Meanwhile, Nicola Maduro announced the initiative on public dialogue on economic development of the crisis-torn country.
"I have initiated a process of dialogue with the public in an effort to create a plan of action, reconstruction and change in the Bolivarian Revolution. I need a plan… for changing the economic and political life of the country completely. The first events happened on Saturday and Sunday and they were very interesting. Now, I want such public meetings to be held at the end of this week, and thousands of public meetings to be held in order to hear the people, their criticism and suggestions […] People know everything", Maduro said.
Maduro has accused the United States of trying to orchestrate a coup in order to install Jaun Guaido as a US puppet.
The crisis in Venezuela began when opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself Venezuela's interim president on 23 January, two weeks after President Nicolas Maduro's inauguration for a second term following elections in May 2018.
Russia, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Turkey and a number of other countries have voiced their support for constitutionally-elected Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.
Moscow accused the US of supporting coup attempts and planning a military intervention in the Latin American state.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US has a "full-scale set of options" to resolve the Venezuelan crisis, claiming that any actions that the US takes in the country would be "lawful".