Venezuela arrests anti-Maduro politicians in sweep

Venezuela jailed a dissident former general, a substitute lawmaker, and two other regional politicians in what the opposition called a wave of repression by socialist President Nicolas Maduro's government.


With its popularity falling during a brutal economic crisis, Maduro's government cast the arrests as part of a crackdown against "terrorists" and coup plotters.

In addition, two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles warned that authorities are about to ban him from holding political office due to alleged irregularities in the Miranda state he governs. Capriles says the charges are trumped up.

 “The only tool the government has against the people is to use fear and terror,” opposition congressional speaker Julio Borges told reporters after the latest arrests, adding that “that is why it has sworn in a group it calls the anti-coup squad.”

While Maduro accuses opponents of seeking to oust him with the connivance of Washington, critics say he has taken Venezuela down an increasingly dictatorial path, holding more than 100 political prisoners.