After eight days abroad, interim president Juan Guaido returned this morning to a Venezuela tense with anticipation that he might be arrested attempting to re-enter the country. Those fears were assuaged as Guaido successfully navigated through customs at the Simon Bolivar International airport, and attended a rally in Caracas in the early afternoon.
Fears that Guaido would be arrested at his port of entry were not unfounded. Guaido violated a judicial order banning him from leaving the country when he entered Colombia last week. Last Tuesday, Maduro suggested in an interview that Guaido would be arrested if he attempted to return to Venezuela, while on Wednesday PSUV vice president Diosdado Cabello threatened that the authorities were “waiting” for Guaido at the Simon Bolivar airport.
Despite this, Guaido cleared customs without trouble. He arrived in Venezuela aboard a commercial flight. In the video below, Guaido speaks to the passengers of the airplane that flew him into the country:
Guaido: … what’s going to happen in Venezuela in the coming days. We will for sure restore our democracy, our freedom, [through] service for our country. God bless you. Let me ask you: can we do it, or not?
Passengers: Yes, we can!
Guaido: Can we do it, or not?
Passengers: Yes, we can!
Guaido: We’re doing well because we’re giving it our all. Long live Venezuela!
In the image below, Guaido speaks to a Venezuelan customs official earlier today:
A video of Guaido going through customs:
At the arrival section of the airport, Guaido was received by excited travelers. In the video below, the crowd is chanting Guaido’s slogan: “Si se puede! Si se puede!” (Yes we can! Yes we can!):
Guaido excited the airport into a throng of journalists:
After getting into a vehicle convoy headed for Caracas, Guaido made a stop in his native city of La Guaira. There, excited onlookers and supporters swarmed around Guaido and his convoy:
Below, an image of Guaido waving a Venezuelan flag amid a crowd of supporters in La Guaira:
The video below captured the moment that Guaido’s convoy stopped on a road; he gets out, climbs atop his vehicle, and leads the crowd in singing the national anthem:
Guaido Attends Rally in Caracas
After stopping by in La Guaira, Guaido headed for Caracas where he attended a rally in the Alfredo Sadel plaza:
The video below shows Guaido moving through Caracas. A woman walks behind the vehicles and prayers that Guaido be “protected from these murderers”, referring to the Maduro regime:
Guaido at the rally:
During the rally, Guaido thanked Venezuelans for “mobilizing” across the country, a fact that he said ensured his safe return to the country. He also announced more activities for tomorrow, this one involving unionized workers:
Tomorrow, Carnival Tuesday, we call for an important meeting of all public sector employees. We cannot allow the regime to continue to hold the bureaucracy hostage. Public sector employees: the time has come to say “enough!” and to dejar sin funcionamiento (roughly, “disable”) the regime that oppresses you!
On his trip abroad, said that “the world will help” Venezuela, but stressed that “we are the ones who have to move forward on this path”.
During his speech, Guaido also called for a nationwide protest this coming March 9.
At the conclusion of the rally, Guaido climbed the stage scaffolding to wave goodbye to his supporters:
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