Guaido plans return to Venezuela from Colombia

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Bogota, Feb 27 (IANS) Venezuelan self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaido was planning his return to Caracas from Colombia where he participated in a concert aimed to raise money for humanitarian relief.

Guaido travelled to the Colombian border city of Cucuta on February 22 for the concert organised by British billionaire Richard Branson, Efe news reported.

The opposition leader remained in Colombia for what turned out to be an abortive effort to bring US humanitarian aid into Venezuela, which is suffering from hyperinflation and shortages.

On Monday, Guaido took part in a gathering in Bogota with US Vice President Mike Pence and representatives of the Lima Group.

Founded in the Peruvian capital in August 2017, the Lima Group comprises Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Guyana and St. Lucia.

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After the meeting, Guaido told the Colombian media that he would return to Caracas this week to resume “exercising” his functions as interim president.

The US is in the vanguard of the roughly 50 countries, including the major European powers except Italy, that have recognised Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader over incumbent Nicolas Maduro.

Guaido declared himself acting head of state on January 23.

Venezuela’s Supreme Court, which supports Maduro, barred Guaido from leaving the country while he remained under investigation for his attempt to seize power.

But he said on Tuesday that he was “not under any order”, dismissing Venezuela’s attorney general and Supreme Court as usurpers.

–IANS

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