A defiant Guaido returns home to Venezuela

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 4, 2019 - Duration: 01:38s

A defiant Guaido returns home to Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido arrived at Caracas’ airport on Monday after flouting a court-imposed travel ban by touring Latin American countries to boost support for his campaign to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

Havovi Cooper reports.

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A defiant Guaido returns home to Venezuela

Juan Guaido - the self-proclaimed interim President of Venezuela - returned home Monday, risking arrest after he ignored a court-imposed travel ban and toured Latin American countries to boost support for his campaign to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

Soon after touching down, the opposition leader led a massive protest through the streets of Caracas - with tens of thousands of supporters cheering him on.

Guaido's defiant return could prompt his arrest and strip the opposition of a popular public figurehead.

But doing so would also be a risky move for Maduro - allowing his opponents to highlight how the socialist dicator's government represses political foes.

It could also prompt the U.S.- which, along with many Western nations, back Guaido - to impose even harsher sanctions against Maduro's government.

Guaido secretly left Venezuela for Colombia, in violation of a Supreme Court order, to coordinate efforts to send humanitarian aid into Venezuela.

But troops loyal to Maduro blocked convoys of aid trucks sent from Colombia and Brazil, leading to deadly clashes.

From Colombia, Guaido then traveled to Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay to shore up Latin American support for a transition government that would precede free and fair elections.

Maduro, who has called Guaido a coup-mongering U.S. puppet and denies there is a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, has said Guaido's arrest is in the hands of those who run the country's justice system.

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