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    Luis Florido, lawmaker of the Venezuelan coalition of opposition parties (MUD), speaks during a gathering with opposition supporters in Caracas, Venezuela March 17, 2018. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo

    Juan Guaido's Deputy Luis Florido Prosecuted For Failed Coup Flees to Colombia

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    A deputy to self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido, earlier prosecuted for his role in the failed coup on 30 April, has fled to Colombia. This comes after one of Guaido's deputies Edgar Zambrano was jailed for treason, conspiracy, civil rebellion, while another - Americo de Grazia, reportedly took refuge in the Italian embassy in Caracas.

    Luis Florido announced he has fled Venezuela for neighbouring Colombia, in a video posted on Twitter Friday.

    "I am out of the country in Colombia, safe from a regime ready to imprison deputies," said Juan Guaido's deputy in the video.    

    Earlier in the day Venezuela's Supreme Court has decreed to put the deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Edgar Zambrano, in pretrial detention at a military jail in the capital Caracas.

    READ MORE: Guaido Deputy Jailed Over Treason, Conspiracy, Civil Rebellion After Failed Coup

    Edgar Zambrano was earlier apprehended by intelligence agents for his support of the failed uprising orchestrated by the country's self-proclaimed president, Guaido.

    Another Guaido's deputy Americo de Grazia entered Thursday the Italian embassy in Caracas.

    After a failed coup attempt on 30 April Venezuela's Constituent Assembly stripped  Edgar Jose Zambrano, Luis Florido, Henry Ramos Allup, Richard Blanco, Marianela Lopez, Simon Calzadilla and Americo de Grazia of their paliamentary immunity.

    The prosecution charges them with high treason, public conspiring for violating law, inciting civil uprising, and power usurpation, among other crimes.

    READ MORE: Maduro Warns of Possible Military Conflict With Colombia — Reports

    Over the past years, Colombia and Venezuela have recalled their ambassadors multiple times amid tense relations between the two neighbouring countries. Tensions escalated further after the assassination attempt on Maduro in August 2018. Caracas accused Bogota, particularly then-Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, of having a role in the attack. The Colombian Foreign Ministry denied any involvement of Bogota in the assassination attempt on Maduro.

    Back in February, Bogota decided to partially shut the country's northeastern border with Venezuela after efforts by the Venezuelan opposition allowing trucks with unauthorized humanitarian aid into the country, led to clashes between Venezuelan security officers and pro-aid protesters.

    Following the attempts to illegally bring humanitarian aid into Venezuela from Colombia, Maduro announced that Caracas was cutting off diplomatic and political relations with Bogota.  

    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.   

    The US, Canada, some Latin American and European nations were quick to recognize Guaido as the new legitimate leader of Venezuela and have supported him in his attempts to oust Maduro from power.

    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.

    READ MORE: Caracas Strips 7 Venezuelan Lawmakers of Immunity Over Failed Coup — Reports

    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". 

    Topic:
    Political Crisis in Venezuela (515)

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    coup attempt, crisis, immunity, prosecution, plane, Luis Florido, Edgar Zambrano, Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro, United States, Venezuela
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