A visibly flustered but determined Juan Guaido told a crowd gathered at a university that members of a special police unit known for its brutal tactics had gone to his high-rise apartment in a middle-class neighborhood of Caracas while his 20-month-old daughter was inside.
"Right now, special forces were at my home asking for Fabiana", he said. "Wives are sacred. So don't cross that red line".
Last week the oil-rich but economically devastated Latin American country was plunged into uncertainty when the US -backed opposition leader Guaido proclaimed himself "acting president".
Maduro also criticized the U.S. government as "childish" in conducting its foreign policy after U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton's notepad with words "5,000 (sic) troops to Colombia" evoked concerns.
"Once more they are playing the intimidation game", Guaido said.
With 20 tons of gold stacked up for loading and shipping out of Venezuelan vaults, the mystery surrounding them - and the saber-rattling they're sparking - is intensifying.
"Maduro is not president and the Constituent Assembly has no legitimacy, no value", he said.
"Let me reiterate. There will be serious consequences for those who attempt to subvert democracy and harm Guaido", Bolton said on Twitter. "Shame on you Maduro".
But that offer has been rejected by Guaido, who describes it as a ploy by the Maduro administration to buy time.More news: At Least 2 Dead After Small Plane Crash In California
Following Pence's speech, Venezuelan-state run television, Tele Sur, showed Maduro marching with a couple thousand members of the Venezuelan military on Friday.
Venezuela's opposition has called on supporters to flood the streets again Saturday in nationwide protests against Maduro, the second such mass action this week. Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said retired National Guard Col. Oswaldo Garcia Palomo was among those detained.
But while the USA is actively pushing for the removal of Maduro, Washington has insisted that it hopes to achieve its goal through peaceful means.
"I address you to inform you that I disavow the vitiated and dictatorial authority of Nicolas Maduro and recognize Deputy Juan Guaido as the president in charge of Venezuela", he said.
The statement reported, "The U.S. does not recognize ex-president Nicolas Maduro to possess the legal expert to end diplomatic relations with the U.S. or to announce our diplomat's persona non grata".
Meanwhile, a prominent opposition lawmaker called on a group of European Union and Latin American countries to support Maduro's ouster - without negotiations.
In an early morning tweet, Trump on Wednesday warned USA citizens against traveling to Venezuela amid the political crisis there over control of the government, as the US and other nations have recognized Venezuelan President Maduro's rival Juan Guiado. At the end of the call, the Foreign Secretary told Mr Guaido he was a courageous and fearless man working for a brighter future for the people of Venezuela and that he would be discussing the crisis with other EU Foreign Ministers during a meeting on Thursday (31 January) in Bucharest.
Previous talks between the government and opposition have failed to change electoral conditions in the South American country, and many political leaders have been forced into exile.
In recent days journalists from at least three foreign publications have been detained.
"We are around the corner from freedom", she said, banging on a pot and wearing a Venezuelan flag. Two French journalists were also freed from detention, and two Chilean journalists were ordered deported.