Guaido planning to re-enter Venezuela after attempt to pick up aid

A woman holds a sign that reads, "Guaido, you're our hope" during a gathering of Venezuelans Monday near the Colombian foreign affairs ministry. Photo by Leonardo Munoz/EPA-EFE

Feb. 27 (UPI) — Self-declared Venezuelan leader Juan Guaido, who attempted to deliver relief aid last weekend, is now facing the challenge of finding a way back into the country.

Guaido crossed over into Colombia in a failed attempt to obtain the aid last Friday. The plan was to distribute aid that had been stored for several days at the border, but it failed and nearly all the aid remained out of Venezuela. Small amounts that had made it was destroyed.

“I will announce the day of our return, so that you can be with us,” Guaido said in a tweet to supporters Wednesday. He asked for demonstrations to continue.

“We will decide. Due to security concerns we are not ruling out options,” he’d said a day earlier in an interview with El Tiempo. He declined to detail his return other than saying it would be a matter of days.

Guaido said he’s aware of a possible attack against him from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro‘s regime, but said “that won’t stop us.”

“Maduro has no popular support, and controversial backing,” he said, adding that there’s evidence Maduro let inmates out of jail over the weekend to attack aid volunteers.

“They are making the transition more costly in human lives, in economy, in international relations, but at this point this is unstoppable,” Guaido said.

The opposition leader said efforts to collect more aid will continue “because the humanitarian crisis” persists.

Guaido met Friday with Colombian President Ivan Duque and colleagues from Chile and Paraguay, and participated Monday in a Group of Lima nations meeting in Colombia, He will travel to Brazil on Thursday to meet President Jair Bolsonaro, El Nacional reported.

Guaido said leaving Venezuela took many hours and included a walking stretch. The Venezuelan Supreme Court, which is aligned with Maduro, has ordered Guaido not to travel internationally.

Since January, Guaido has led an intense opposition to Maduro and has been recognized as interim president by more than 50 countries. He’s formed a parallel government with ambassadors and parallel authorities of state oil company PDVSA. Monday, the United States reiterated its support for Guaido. Maduro is supported by Venezuela’s military.

Guaido told El Tiempo his interim leadership intends to call new elections about nine months after the “usurpation” of power by Maduro ends.

At least 85 Venezuelan military have turned themselves in to Colombian authorities just within the last 24 hours, El Nacional said Wednesday citing Colombian officials.

Maduro on Tuesday blamed the burning of some of the aid that made it into Venezuela on orders of Colombian President Ivan Duque, allegedly to try to create a conflict.


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