Moscow, Mar 3 (GCCurrentAffairs) Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaido has announced his return to Venezuela and called for new demonstrations to be held across the country on March 4 and 5.
Guaido arrived in neighboring Colombia on February 22, in defiance of the travel ban imposed on him by the Venezuelan Supreme Court, in order to help forcefully deliver US-sponsored humanitarian aid to Venezuela, a move that has not been authorized by Caracas. The attempt to deliver the aid failed, and the opposition leader announced that he planned to return to Venezuela despite the risk of being arrested.
“I announce my return to the country [Venezuela] and call for demonstrations throughout the country’s territory on Monday and Tuesday [March 4 and 5],” Guaido wrote on Twitter late on Saturday.
Earlier this week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has described Guaido as a “US puppet” and accused Washington of trying to stage a coup in Venezuela, said that the opposition leader must be tried if he returns. Guaido may now face up to 30 years in prison for the violation of the travel ban.
Mass anti-government protests initially erupted in Venezuela in late January after Maduro had taken the oath of office following his victory in last year’s presidential election, which had been boycotted by a part of the country’s opposition.
On January 23, Guaido proclaimed himself acting Venezuelan president. While dozens of countries around the world have endorsed Guaido as Venezuelan interim leader, China and Russia, along with many other countries, have voiced their support for Maduro as the country’s legitimate leader. Mexico and Uruguay, in turn, have declared themselves neutral.