The opposition leader of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, returned after leaving the country which apparently went against a court-imposed travel ban. Mr Guaido toured Latin America in an effort to drum up support for his controversial campaign and tighten the political noose around current President Nicolas Maduro.
Mr Guaido and his wife were greeted by cheering supporters when they departed the Maiquetia airport arrivals hall, then quickly hopped into a waiting vehicle and sped off to a rally for the opposition, located in the eastern section of Caracas – again being welcomed by thousands of party supporters.
Recognized by most Western countries as the legitimate leader of Venezuela, Guaido’s return has signaled that Maduro’s adversaries have for the moment avoided the arrest of a leader that has unified an opposition that has traditionally been fractured.
This will also allow the pressure to be eased from off Maduro to move against Guaido, as Maduro’s power and authority continue to diminish and Venezuela’s economic meltdown acts as a conduit to the hunger and malnutrition.
Guaido stated to the crowd assembled at a plaza in the Las Mercedes district, that “hope has been born and it will not die – things are going well,” then continued by saying “We are going to celebrate this small victory today.”
Guaido announced to the crowd gathered, the plans he has to meet with all public employees on March 5, this section of the working force has been under pressure historically by the Socialist Party to be apart of the rallies organised by the government. He also spoke about a major march to be held at the end of the week.
In direct violation of a Supreme Court order, Guaido intentionally left Venezuela headed for Columbia in an effort to coordinate efforts to send aid to the people of Venezuela in hopes of alleviating the nation wide lack of medicine and food.
After Colombia, Guaido traveled to Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay to grow his support for a transition government that would then arrange for fair and free elections to take place in his home country.
However, military troops blocked the convoys carrying the aid which lead to at least six persons being killed along the Brazilian border as reported by rights groups.
Guaido has not been seen in public since he departed the plane from Ecuador, in the coastal town of Salinas. He ensured that his trip was kept secret and he arrived with any notice, meeting with ambassadors from European countries as the airport.
When questioned by the media regarding how he was received at the airport by the immigration officials, who had the authority to prevent him from re-entering the country or arrested him for violating the travel ban – Guaido said that they called him president – which is a slap in the face to Maduro who calls him a U.S. puppet.
Guaido calls Maduro a usurper and states that his presidency is very illegitimate, especially after he secured re-election in 2018 in a vote which is widely considered a sham. Maduro retains control of state institutions and the apparent loyalty of senior figures in the armed forces.
The Information Ministry refused to immediately respond to a request for comment.
Maduro, repeatedly denies there is any humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, has also said Guaido’s arrest depends on the justice system. Maduro states that “he can’t just come and go. He will have to face justice, and justice prohibited him from leaving the country,” he told ABC News last week.
The protesters in Caracas, said that arresting Guaido would prompt more demonstrations as they wore their flags and white faces, shouting “Freedom,”.
According to Franklin Lopez, a 60 years old administrator stated that “If the regime has even a little bit of conscience, they should not arrest Guaido because people truly would not put up with it,”.
In the midst of all this, the United States has warned Maduro of the consequences of arresting Guaido.