Back in Venezuela, Guaido prepares to meet state workers

Back in Venezuela, Guaido prepares to meet state workers”

Guaido was met by crowds of chanting supporters and several European diplomats after he touched down at Caracas airport on Monday, where he declared, "We are here in Venezuela".

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has arrived back in Venezuela to renew his campaign to topple the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Mr Guaido said to the crowd that "hope has been born and it will not die - things are going well", and that "we are going to celebrate this small victory today".

For now, Guaido, leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, seems intent on probing Maduro's socialist government for vulnerabilities, saying he would meet Tuesday with public employee unions in an attempt to secure their cooperation. Venezuelan media outlets reported that he flew from Panama City to Caracas.

The United States also warned Maduro there would be severe consequences if Guaido is arrested.

Despite worldwide pressure by Washington and its allies, economic turmoil and violence at the border, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has managed to hold onto power.

Those who organized the chaos in Venezuela likely underestimated President Nicolas Maduro, Spanish FM Josep Borrell said, apparently referring to the USA as he lambasted military interventions, saying they have "never worked". His possible detention could serve to highlight Maduro's historic crackdown on political opponents and trigger even more stringent sanctions from the United States.

Guaido has called for nationwide demonstrations coinciding with his arrival.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro attends a meeting with worldwide representatives in support of his government in Caracas, Venezuela Feb. 26, 2019.

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"He will have to face justice and justice prohibited him from leaving the country", said Maduro in an interview with ABC News.

Maduro has called Guaido a coup-mongering US puppet and said the opposition leader could face arrest upon return to Venezuela.

Although Borrell was quick to recognize Guaido's claim to the presidency following Maduro's contested re-election, he has since been a stark opponent of resorting to military options.

Guaido, who has declared himself interim president of Venezuela, said the goal of his return is to intensify internal pressure on Maduro.

The fact that Guaido was not detained, at least so far, reflects the pressure Maduro faces not to intervene, said Luis Vicente Leon, head of the Caracas-based polling firm Datanalisis.

He has offered future amnesties to state officials and solders who recognize Guaido, though the military has largely remained loyal to Maduro despite Colombia's migration agency reporting several hundred desertions since February 23.

His comments came after reports that he had left Ecuador, the last leg of his trip, but he did not disclose where he had gone or how he planned to return to his home country. The...

The government has jailed dozens of opposition leaders and activists for seeking to overthrow Maduro through violent street demonstrations in 2014 and 2017, including Guaido's mentor, Leopoldo Lopez, who remains under house arrest.

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