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.
To President @jguaido of Venezuela, it is a great privilege to share this moment. I bring you and President of Colombia @IvanDuque a very simple message from @POTUS Trump & the United States of America: We are with you 100%. pic.twitter.com/iEaTyDvB7i
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) February 25, 2019
“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.”
No asumimos este compromiso para luchar desde afuera, por eso, pronto estaré en Venezuela para ejercer mis funciones como Presidente (E).
Haré circular un audio con las próximas instrucciones. Les pido que difundan masivamente nuestro mensaje
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) February 27, 2019
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.”