Mike Pence warns of 'swift response' to any threats against Venezuelan opposition leader
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Mike Pence warns of 'swift response' to any threats against Venezuelan opposition leader

"@jguaido's safe return to Venezuela is of the highest importance to the US," Pence tweeted on Monday as Guaido arrived in Caracas. "Any threats, violence, or intimidation against him will not be tolerated & will be met with swift response. The world is watching - Interim President Guaido must be allowed to re-enter Venezuela safely." In a tweet, Guaido announced his departure from a naval air base in the Ecuadorian coastal town of Salinas on Sunday for Venezuela where he could be arrested for violating a travel ban imposed on him by the Supreme Court. Guaido said he would be arriving in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas to lead fresh anti-government protests later on Monday and Tuesday. Guaido, who heads the defunct National Assembly, pushed the country into a new political crisis in January, when he suddenly declared himself as “interim president” of Venezuela, disputing the outcome of last year’s election, in which President Maduro emerged victorious. He was recognized by the US as well as some of its Latin American and European allies. The crisis has worsened the country’s woes, including hyperinflation and widespread shortages of food and medicine. The opposition leader, who is accused in Venezuela of trying to foment a US-backed coup d’état against the Maduro government, had been banned from traveling abroad by the Supreme Court. Guaido, however, defied that travel ban and left Venezuela for meetings with the leaders of Paraguay, Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil during the past few days to build pressure on Caracas and facilitate what is claimed to be humanitarian aid delivery to Venezuelan people. The army, which has remained loyal to Maduro, however, blocked convoys of trucks from Colombia and Brazil. The Caracas government sees the humanitarian aid as part of Guaido’s Washington-backed coup plot.

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