THE Spanish government has condemned the arrest of three journalists and a driver in Venezuela.
Those detained by Venezuelan intelligence service Sebin all belong to Spanish news agency EFE.
Arrested are photographer Leonardo Munoz, reporters Gonzalo Dominguez and Mauren Barriga, as well as an unidentified driver.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said will support the new self-declared leader of the South American country, Juan Guaido.
It comes after he labelled the official leader of the poverty-stricken nation, Nicolás Maduro, a ‘tyrant’.
Venezuela is in political crisis because the public are angry about hyperinflation, power cuts and food and medicine shortages.
According to the UN 3 million Venezuelans have fled the country since 2014, while inflation has reached 1,300,000% since Maduro’s election.
Speaking at a world gathering of left-wing political parties, Sanchez said: “We are socialists because we defend freedom.
“Whoever responds with bullets and prisons to the desire for freedom and democracy is no socialist, he is a tyrant.”
The Spanish leader is joined by most of the EU in calling for new elections in Venezuela.
But on Thursday the EU Parliament officially recognised Juan Guaido as the new president.
The US, Canada, Australia and most of South America already recognise Guaido as the interim president.
Those who support Maduro include Mexico, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Uruguay, China, Russia, Belarus, Iran, Turkey and Syria.