Guaido landed at the country’s main airport, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Caracas. He said in a tweet he had successfully passed through immigration checks.
We know the risks that we face, that’s never stopped us,” the 35-year-old leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly said as he moved through a crowd that included several Western ambassadors. The United States and about 50 other countries have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader, arguing that last year’s re-election of Maduro was illegitimate because popular opposition candidates were barred from running.
“The regime must understand, the dictatorship must understand… that we’re stronger than ever. We’ll continue protesting, we’ll continue mobilizing,” said Guaido, who had ignored an official ban on foreign travel to leave Venezuela, first for Colombia and then elsewhere in Latin America.
Guaido has called for nationwide demonstrations coinciding with his arrival. Thousands of supporters heeded the call, peacefully gathering at a Caracas plaza and in other locations around the country. Some people carried national flags.
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton tweeted that threats or action by Maduro’s government against Guaido “will be met with a strong and significant response from the United States and the international community.”