Venezuela's Interior Minister Says Detained Guaido Aide Part of Terrorist Cell

Venezuela's intelligence service had detained two associates of the country's opposition leader, Juan Guaido, a source in the Venezuelan police in Caracas told Russian news agency RIA Novosti on Thursday.

Venezuelan Minister of Interior Nestor Reverol, during an appearance on state television, said that Roberto Marrero, an aide to the country's self-declared "interim president" Juan Guaido, was part of a terrorist cell that planned attacks in the country and was linked with foreign mercenaries. The minister revealed an image of two rifles as evidence against the aide, who had been detained in an early-morning raid, acording to Sputnik.

A police source had told RIA Novosti that Marrero was one of two of Guaido's aides detained that day, and that one of them was found to have rifles and a grenade in their possession.

 "Early this morning, two of the closest associates of Venezuelan National Assembly leader Juan Guaido — Roberto Marrero and Sergio Vergara — were detained at their homes. The detention was carried out in the El Cafetal neighbourhood of the Baruta municipality. Two rifles and a grenade were found in Marrero's house," the source said. The source said that Vergara had been released and Marrero remained in custody.

Washington was quick to respond to the news, with US National Security Adviser John Bolton calling the arrest a "big mistake" and threatening to respond harshly.