Caracas, April 24, 2023 (OrinocoTribune.com)—Early Monday morning, Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaidó issued a statement via social media reporting that he is in Colombia. According to the statement, he intends to participate in the International Conference on Venezuela (ICV) that will take place in Colombia on Tuesday, April 25. Many in Venezuela, including the opposition base, have doubts about the real reasons behind his escape.
Representatives of 20 countries, including the United States, are scheduled to meet this Tuesday in Bogotá to generate proposals to reactivate the Mexico Talks. The Mexico Talks were interrupted after the opposition and the US failed to respect an agreement aimed at unfreezing $3 billion for the Venezuelan government to use for social programs.
Juan Guaidó has several legal cases opened against him by the Venezuelan judiciary, but so far, none of them has led to his arrest. Guaidó’s arrest is expected by Chavistas, who see him as representing US sanctions, the illegal seizures of Venezuelan money and assets abroad, and the deterioration of living conditions that has strongly affected the majority of Venezuelans in recent years.
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Sources linked to the Venezuelan opposition revealed via social media that Guaidó’s real intention is to travel to another country with the help of an embassy in Colombia.
For this reason, the news about Guaidó’s crossing of the Venezuelan border using illegal routes and in complete contravention of a travel restriction—as he explicitly wrote in his statement—raises questions about the impunity that favors a handful of powerful individuals in Venezuela. It also raises questions about how the Colombian government will react to Guaidó’s illegal presence in its territory and constitutes a clear attempt to sabotage the ICV, beginning on Tuesday, April 25, in Bogotá, under the initiative of Colombian President Petro.
Many Chavistas mad at this new development: Former deputy Guaido announces that he is in Colombia… https://t.co/pUCINXq4Pd
— Orinoco Tribune (@OrinocoTribune) April 24, 2023
Guaidó’s statement contains several contradictions and confusions, nothing new for those who try to follow his erratic behavior. Below are the most notable sections of his statement:
• “I have just arrived in Colombia, the same way that millions of Venezuelans have done before me: on foot.”
• “I’ve come within the context of the summit convened by President Petro this coming Tuesday, April 25, and I will be requesting meetings with the international delegations attending the summit.”
• “Over the past few days, the regime has increased its threats against me with the sole purpose of silencing me. I won’t give Maduro that chance.”
The Colombian government reacted quickly to this development by announcing via an official statement clarifying that the Venezuelan politician was not invited to the summit. The statement was posted on the Colombian Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ social media account.
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“The Foreign Ministry reports that only the countries invited to this dialogue will participate in the International Conference on the political process in Venezuela on April 25. Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva has not invited Juan Guaidó to this space,” reads the post.
La Cancillería informa que en la Conferencia Internacional sobre el proceso político en Venezuela de este 25 de abril solo participarán los países invitados a este diálogo.
El canciller @AlvaroLeyva no ha invitado a este espacio al señor Juan Guaidó.https://t.co/qGgyPLtDuU pic.twitter.com/o0FceJo1Z2
— Cancillería Colombia (@CancilleriaCol) April 24, 2023
Several theories have been circulating in Venezuela about this move by former Deputy Guaidó. Below we explain the most prominent ones according to RedRadioVE:
• Guaidó seeks attention (yes, again). Nobody talks about him anymore since he was ousted by his own partners in his fantasy government.
• Popular Will (VP) party seems to have realized that its candidate has no traction in the upcoming opposition primaries. In the electoral landscape, one of the issues that the convention called by Petro will address, Guaidó has very few opportunities to become an alternative for any segment of the Venezuelan population. Not even for the extremist sector that he fueled.
• The former so-called interim president has too many financial irregularities to account for in Venezuela: illegally seized companies, frozen money, and unjustified astronomical salaries, to name a few. Rumor has it that his departure from the country is a way to literally leave him out of the race.
For many analysts, the only good outcome for this sudden move would be the end of a grotesque and surreal phase in Venezuelan politics, where, for the first time in republican history, a local politician partnered with a foreign government, the US, to attempt to oust a legitimate president and to rob the money belonging to all Venezuelans.
Orinoco Tribune Special by staff
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