US calls for Venezuela to release opposition leader's chief of staff

US calls for Venezuela to release opposition leader's chief of staff

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump calls on foreign countries to protect their own oil tankers Trump to travel to South Korea The Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck MORE on Thursday called for the release of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó's chief of staff after he was detained by President Nicolás Maduro's security forces.

"The United States condemns raids by Maduro’s security services and detention of Roberto Marrero, Chief of Staff to Interim President @jguaido," Pompeo tweeted. "We call for his immediate release. We will hold accountable those involved."

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Reuters reported that Guaidó accused agents from the country's SEBIN intelligence service of raiding the homes of his chief of staff and a lawmaker who opposes Maduro earlier on Thursday.

“As they cannot take the interim president prisoner, so they seek out people closest to him, threaten relatives, carry out kidnappings,” Guaidó said at a news conference, according to Reuters.

Guaidó's team provided a recording that Marrero created as the agents attempted to enter his home. He urged others to "keep up the fight" and "look after [Guaidó]," according to Reuters.

U.S. officials have in recent weeks ratcheted up pressure on Maduro to step aside as president of Venezuela. The Trump administration has imposed a series of sanctions and repeatedly warned him and his supporters against threatening Guaidó.