German minister: Envoys helped prevent Guaido arrest
- Author: Tracy Klein Mar 08, 2019,
Mar 08, 2019, 1:45
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has been recognized as interim president by the US and more than 50 other countries, arrived for a session of the opposition-led National Assembly, as a bitter political standoff with President Nicolas Maduro continues. "Instead, Maduro [allowed] Juan Guaido back into the country - but many saying today that's revealing his regime's relative weakness and isolation".
He noted that the situation remains very fluid both on the ground in terms of global recognition of opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has declared himself president.
"We will continue to hold all of the Maduro regime accountable until democracy and libertad (liberty) are fully restored", US Vice President Mike Pence said in a speech.
The National Assembly leader remains free despite the threat of arrest by the government.
The United States moved to aggressively cut off Maduro and his associates from oil and other revenues with sanctions after recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate head of state in January.
Neither Venezuela's public prosecutors office nor the armed forces press office responded to requests for comment about Weddle.
The German foreign ministry in Berlin confirmed the expulsion order.
Weddle's sister, Kelsey McMahan, said their family is relieved he will be home soon after being detained in Venezuela.
Guaido vowed Tuesday to increase pressure on Maduro, who in turn promised to crush a "crazed minority" that wants to remove him from power.
His supporters say his re-election was legal and have accused Mr Guaido of violating the constitution.
Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro has cut ties with Colombia after opposition leaders used the neighboring Andean nation as a launching point for humanitarian aid meant to undermine his authority. Their mother, Sherry Weddle, said that the U.S. Embassy contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but have yet to hear back. "He said he was fine and wanted to know how I was".
His last tweet since his disappearance shows him reporting to WPLG about Guaido's return to Caracas. Guaido had just returned from a 10-day tour of South American allies, defying a government-issued ban on him leaving the country.
"We will be sanctioning some in the days and weeks to come". The 35-year-old politician has pledged to set up a transitional government and hold new elections to unseat Maduro, who is backed by China, Russia and Turkey.
Phil Gunson, a political consultant at the International Crisis Group, suggested on Twitter that the incident could strain already tense relations between the United States and Venezuela.