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'Enough already!' wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Guaido tells Maduro

Fabiana Rosales. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Lima, Peru Mar 24, 2019, 08.42 AM (IST)

The wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido had a brief message for President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday, following the arrest of her husband's chief of staff this week: "Enough already."

In an interview with Reuters in Peru, where she met with Venezuelan immigrants before a trip to the United States, Fabiana Rosales said the arrest of Roberto Marrero on terrorism accusations on Thursday was a "farcical" attempt by Maduro to break the opposition's morale.

"We are very clear about what our objective is and what our route is and this is part of their game (Nicolas Maduro's government), to put obstacles in the way that deviate us from our final goal but they have bumped into a generation that does not gives up," said Rosales, a 26-year-old journalist and opposition activist who is considered Venezuela's first lady by supporters.

Venezuela plunged into a deep political crisis in January, when Guaido invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing Maduro's 2018 re-election was illegitimate. He has been recognized by most Latin American and Western countries as Venezuela's rightful leader.

But Maduro retains control of state functions and the loyalty of the military top brass. A socialist, Maduro says Guaido is a puppet of the United States and is attempting to lead a coup against him to wrest control of the OPEC nation's oil reserves, the largest in the world.

Rosales said spies and pro-government armed groups known as "collectives" have long followed her and her husband, monitoring their movements and stalking their family members and friends.

Venezuela's foreign ministry did not answer phone calls seeking comment outside regular working hours on Saturday. Venezuelan authorities have accused Marrero of planning attacks against political figures and said an arms cache had been seized from his house.

Guaido, 35, told Reuters in an interview on Friday that he was prepared for more people in his team to be arrested, but thought Maduro's government had reached its final stage.

Rosales said she thought Maduro was too fearful to have Guaido himself arrested.

Rosales declined to comment on whom she plans to meet in the United States but said she has confirmed visits to New York City and Miami.

Story highlights

In an interview with Reuters in Peru, where she met with Venezuelan immigrants before a trip to the United States, Fabiana Rosales said the arrest of Roberto Marrero on terrorism accusations on Thursday was a 'farcical' attempt by Maduro to break the opposition's morale.