MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The families of Venezuelan opposition leaders Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma say they were taken from their homes, where they were under house arrest, by state security agents.
Lopez’s wife, Lilian Tintori, posted a video on Twitter of her husband being led away with the caption “It’s 12:27 in the morning, the moment the dictatorship kidnaps Leopoldo in my home.”
Tintori also said in a tweet that “they’ve just taken Leopoldo from the house. We don’t know where he is.”
Lopez was detained three years after protests against President Nicolas Maduro’s government and sentenced to more than a decade in prison on charges that include inciting protesters to violence.
He was released last month to serve the rest of his term under house arrest.
Ledezma’s daughter also posted a video which reportedly shows her father being detained by government officials. Ledezma, a former mayor of Caracas, was detained in 2015.
It’s not confirmed who took the men but the video posted by Tintori shows Lopez being driven away in a car marked “SEBIN,” an abbreviation for the Venezuelan intelligence service.
It is certain to only inflame tensions in the streets – where clashes between anti-government protestors and police have led to more than 100 people killed since April.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who has been extremely vocal in getting the United States involved in the situation in Venezuela, posted a video on his website in which he addressed Maduro directly.
“For Nicolas Maduro, who I am sure is watching, the current path you are on will not end well for you.
Unlike Fidel Castro in 1959, there is no Soviet Union left to subsidize your government for the next 30 years,” said Rubio.
Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen also weighed in on Twitter.
— Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (@RosLehtinen) August 1, 2017
On Monday, the Trump administration announced new sanctions against Maduro one day after he declared victory in a controversial election that allows him to further consolidate power. The sanctions freeze all of Maduro’s assests that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction. They also bar U.S. citizens from doing business with him, according to the Treasure Dept.
Both Lopez and Ledezma denounced Sunday’s election and called for new protests. Their arrests confirmed the fears of the opposition in Venezuela that Maduro would use the weekend’s vote to rewrite the constitution as a pretext to jail, suppress, and silence his most vocal critics.