Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has claimed that he was expelled from Colombia after he crossed the border from Venezuela to meet with some participants at an international conference on 25 April to discuss the political crisis in his country.
In a video posted on Twitter, Guaidó said he entered Colombia to escape persecution by the Venezuelan government, but now felt persecuted in Colombia by President Nicolás Maduro.
Colombia’s Foreign Ministry stated that Guaidó was “irregularly” in the country, so immigration authorities escorted him to the international airport to take a plane bound for the US.
In the video, Guaidó said he was on a commercial flight to the US and that he would say more on 28 April.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has left Colombia and is en route to the United States, according to a video he posted on Twitter. Guaidó had been in Colombia for several days, seeking refuge from the Venezuelan government, which he said was persecuting him.
However, in the video posted on Sunday, Guaidó stated that he now felt persecuted in Colombia by the government of President Nicolás Maduro. He did not give details about what had happened in Colombia, but said he was leaving the country on a commercial flight to the US.
The Colombian Foreign Ministry later issued a statement saying that Guaidó had entered the country “irregularly” and that immigration authorities had escorted him to the international airport in order to take a flight to the US.
Guaidó, who is recognised as the legitimate interim president of Venezuela by more than 50 countries, has been leading a campaign to remove Maduro from power. He has been travelling around Latin America in recent weeks, meeting with leaders and seeking support for his cause.
Maduro, who has been in power since 2013, has accused Guaidó of being a puppet of the US and has refused to step down. Venezuela is in the midst of a severe economic and humanitarian crisis, with millions of people facing food and medicine shortages and skyrocketing inflation.
Guaidó’s departure from Colombia comes just days after a failed attempt to launch a military uprising against Maduro in Venezuela. Guaidó had called on the military to defect and join him in the streets, but the armed forces largely remained loyal to Maduro.
The US has been a strong supporter of Guaidó and has imposed economic sanctions on Venezuela in an attempt to pressure Maduro to step down. However, Maduro has remained defiant and has accused the US of trying to stage a coup against him.
Guaidó did not say where he would be going in the US or what his plans were. He stated that he would have more to say on 28 April. It remains to be seen what impact his departure will have on the situation in Venezuela and on his campaign to remove Maduro from power.