Opposition leader Juan Guaido made a surprise appearance at Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address in Washington, D.C. this evening alongside Ivan Simonovis, a high-profile Venezuelan political exile living in the United States.
Guaido’s assistance was revealed by Bloomberg News, and later confirmed by Florida governor Rick Scott:
Guaido was seated in the top gallery near First Lady Melania Trump. In the image below, Guaido can be seen on the bottom right hand side:
During his speech, Trump said that Maduro is “a tyrant that brutalizes his people”, and that his regime would one day fall. He then introduce Guaido as “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela”, prompting a standing ovation from the chamber. Below, a clip of that moment:
IACHR Delegation Denied Entry to Venezuela
A team of three experts from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) were denied entry to Venezuela this morning by Copa Airlines in Panama, leaving the trio at their gate in the airport.
The three experts had been invited to visit Venezuela last week by the country’s political opposition, and were supposed to spend five days in the country meeting with victims of regime repression and other human rights abuses.
According to a tweet shared from the official IACHR Twitter account, the organization explained that the three experts were prevented from boarding their airplane to Caracas at their gate in Panama City by Copa Airlines employees who allegedly told them that they had “received instructions” from the Maduro government that they would not be allowed into the country.
Below, the tweet:
IACHR, Colombia Announce “Plan B”
Alejandro Ordóñez, the Colombian ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), said that the Maduro regime’s refusal to allow the IACHR mission to enter the country was “predictable”, and that as a result there is a contingency plan in place that will allow the experts to speak to victims of human rights abuses.
Ordóñez said that Bogota has already been in contact with the IACHR in order to allow the mission to set up a base of operations in the border with Venezuela so that they can “carry out their duties” there.
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