Juan Guaidó Warns He May Be Arrested on Return to Venezuela

US Vice President Mike Pence (right) meets in Bogota with Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared acting president Juan Guaido
AFP Diana Sanchez

Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó has warned he could be arrested when he returns to his country later this week, after he traveled to Colombia to work on efforts to remove the ruling Maduro regime from power.

Over the past week, Guaidó has held meetings with other regional leaders including the Presidents of Colombia and Chile, Ivan Duque and Sebastian Piñera, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, as the international community plans the next steps for removing the socialist regime from office.

“We do not assume this commitment to fight from the outside, and for that reason, I will soon be in Venezuela to exercise my duties as President,” Guaidó wrote on Twitter. “I will circulate audio with the next instructions. I ask you to widely disseminate our message. Nothing will stop us.”

In an interview with CNN, the 35-year-old also warned that he could be arrested upon his return, but said that such a move would only further mobilize opposition to the socialist regime.

“The exercise of politics in Venezuela is criminalized, not only towards me. Today there are 1,000 political prisoners in Venezuela, there are political assassinations,” he said. “Venezuela is mobilized towards change and arresting someone (does) not calm the protest. On the contrary, it speeds it up and makes it grow.”

U.S. Special Representative to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, said on Tuesday that the U.S. remained “deeply concerned” about Guaidó’s safety should he return to his homeland. Last week, five people were killed and hundreds were more injured as security forces attempted to block the entry of U.S. humanitarian aid into the country.

However, Abrams also expressed optimism that there would be a U.N. resolution targeting the Maduro regime and its use of violent repression against civilians and confirmed that the U.S. would impose further economic financial sanctions on high ranking socialist officials.

“I think we will have a resolution this week, which will certainly call for the admission of humanitarian aid into Venezuela and will comment on the events of the last few days,” he said following a U.N. Security Council meeting on the issue. “We announced some sanctions yesterday. There will be more this week, there will be more next week. We will continue to impose sanctions on high-ranking members of the regime and people who handle their financial affairs.”


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