Venezuelan opposition leader accuses government of detaining his uncle
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido calls Venezuela's president a "coward" who "mounts an attack against my family."
By Krysta Blatt | Feb 19, 2020 | Print-friendly

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido accused Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of "cowardly" retribution action against him Wednesday in a speech alleging that the Venezuelan government has detained his uncle. Guaido's uncle, Juan Jose Marquez, has been reported missing after being stopped at the Caracas airport that he and Guaido arrived at on Tuesday.

"It retains a member of my family the cowardly dictatorship," Guaido told reporters in Caracas before joining a meeting of the opposition-dominated National Assembly. He added that "Maduro is a coward who does not dare to show his face he mounts an attack against my family."

Marquez and Guaido had arrived at the Caracas airport after a three-week international tour and passed through migration when Marquez was stopped, allegedly for a Seniat review, according to Guaido's press team. Seniat is the Venezuelan national tax agency.

Romina Botaro, Marquez's wife, said that the family does not know Marquez's current whereabouts. She said that her husband has nothing to do with politics and only "wanted to accompany his nephew's return to the country."

Maduro led a groundswell of protests against Maduro's reelection last year, and he is recognized by more than 50 countries--including the United States--as Venezuela's legitimate president. Maduro calls him a U.S.-backed puppet who is trying to depose him in a coup.

The Venezuelan government had placed a travel ban on Guaido in January, but he defied it to embark on his latest international tour. During this three-week trip, he visited U.S. President Trump in Washington and attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.