Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said he would go home after concluding a visit to Ecuador, raising the prospect of a showdown with the government that he is trying to force from power.
“I’m announcing my return home from Ecuador,” Guaido said after meeting its president, Lenin Moreno. He also called for protests in Venezuela on Monday and Tuesday, days that coincide with the country’s Carnival season.
Guaido, who declared himself Venezuela’s interim president and is recognised as so by the US and 50 other nations including Australia, did not comment on the exact timing of his planned return to Venezuela. His spokesman, Edward Rodriguez, said “it’s possible” that he will return on Monday.
“We have little to celebrate and a lot to do,” said Guaido, who recently visited the leaders of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina in a campaign to build pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to resign.
His return from the trip opens the possibility that Venezuelan authorities will try to arrest him. The opposition leader said he seeks a “peaceful transition” that will allow his homeland to overcome its political and humanitarian crisis. Last weekend, Guaido coordinated a failed effort to bring aid from Colombia and Brazil into Venezuela, where security forces loyal to Maduro blocked the supplies.
Maduro described Guaido’s gambit as part of a US-backed plot to overthrow him. Moreno, who met Guaido in Ecuador’s coastal city of Salinas, said he supported the opposition leader’s attempt to bring “democratic change” to Venezuela.