The international community condemned the detention of two political opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday, with the White House saying it holds Maduro personally responsible for their safety.
“The United States condemns the actions of the Maduro dictatorship” in taking Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma from their homes, US President Donald Trump said in a statement. “The United States holds Maduro … personally responsible for the health and safety of Mr. Lopez, Mr. Ledezma, and any others seized.”
The head of the Organization of American States also blasted Maduro’s recent actions, saying he was trying to “silence and subdue an entire people.”
OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro called for new parliamentary elections and accused Maduro’s government of killings and repression.
The detentions come after Venezuelans elected members of a new legislative body in a Sunday vote called for by Maduro and boycotted by the opposition. Virtually all of the new body’s members are supporters of the leftist leader.
Critics in Venezuela and outside the restive nation have called the vote a sham.
Families of the two held opposition leaders distributed separate videos purportedly showing armed men removing the politicians from their homes in the night
In the 6 1/2-minute video reportedly recorded July 17, Lopez sits by his wife and says those who detained him in 2014 could potentially send him back to prison.
“If you are watching this video, then this is precisely what happened, because they came and they unjustly took me as prisoner,” he says.
Lopez urges his supporters to continue to work for political change.