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Venezuelan Opposition to March as Guaido Returns, Risking Arrest

CARACAS – Opposition supporters in Venezuela were expected to take to the streets on Monday after ruler Juan Guaido called for mass protests against President Nicolas Maduro, as the self-proclaimed interim president was preparing to return from Latin allies, after a week of violence, Associated France Press said Monday.
Guaido’s reappearance in Venezuela would be an immediate challenge for Maduro, who should decide to arrest him for defying a travel ban – thus provoking a strong condemnation from the international community – or allowing him to enter unhindered which would undermine his authority, analyst says.
I am announcing my return to the country and calling on the Venezuelan people to mobilize throughout the country tomorrow at 11:00 am (15:00 GMT),” Guaido said on Twitter.
Later, in a video with his wife shared on his social networks, he said that if the Maduro government “tried to kidnap us … it would be one of the last mistakes he would make”.
Guaido did not say how and when he would return, although rumors have it that a flight from the Colombian capital Bogota to Caracas is the most likely.
However, it is possible that he plans to cross the border with Colombia in the same way he left Venezuela, claiming that he had been helped by Maduro’s army.
Guaido met Saturday in Salinas, the coastal town west of Guayaquil, with President Lenin Moreno, and met with Venezuelan refugees.
Sunday around noon, he flew out of Salinas without revealing his destination.
Contravening a travel ban imposed by the Venezuelan government, Guaido crossed the border to Colombia on February 23 to escort trucks of international humanitarian aid loaded with trucks. In Colombia, he met with US Vice President Mike Pence.
The 35-year-old political newcomer then traveled to Brazil, where he met the country’s new right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro, and traveled to Paraguay and Argentina on Friday.
During a visit to Maduro during his trip, he said he had been invited to visit Chile later this month.
Guaido, who heads the opposition-led National Assembly, stunned the world on January 23rd by proclaiming himself acting president of Venezuela after the Legislature declared Maduro usurper and illegitimate during his May 2017 re-election, largely criticized for its fraudulent nature. Maduro’s new mandate began on January 10th.
Guaido wants to oust Maduro and set up a transitional government before the new
elections.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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