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Ariana Cubillos / AP

Two prominent Venezuelan opposition leaders were "dragged from their homes" early this morning by intelligence agents following an election Sunday that was criticized as a power grab by President Nicolas Maduro, the Telegraph reports.

  • The opposition, which boycotted Sunday's vote, claimed leaders Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma had been "kidnapped." Lopez's wife said "Maduro is responsible if anything happens to him." Both men had already been under house arrest and, per the Telegraph, this "appears to herald the beginning of the crackdown on opposition 'terrorists' that Maduro had vowed would follow the constituent assembly vote."
  • The U.S. personally sanctioned Maduro yesterday, with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin saying the election confirmed his status as a "dictator."
  • Why it matters: Venezuela is a powder keg, with violent clashes between government and protestors and the economy in shambles, and a new constitution expected to consolidate Maduro's power. Moves like this can only escalate a dangerous situation.

Go deeper

45 mins ago - World

Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Containers carrying doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arrive in Brazil. Photo: Maurio Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.

Sullivan speaks with Israel's national security adviser for the first time

Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat U.S. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/Getty Images. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan. Photo: Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat, Israeli officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is the first contact between the Biden White House and Israeli prime minister's office. During the transition, the Biden team refrained from speaking to foreign governments.

Biden speaks to Mexican president about reversing Trump's "draconian immigration policies"

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Biden told his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on a phone call Friday that he plans to reverse former President Trump’s “draconian immigration policies.”

The big picture: The Biden administration has already started repealing several of Trump’s immigration policies, including ordering a 100-day freeze on deporting many unauthorized immigrants, halting work on the southern border wall, and reversing plans to exclude undocumented people from being included in the 2020 census.