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    Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognized as the country's rightful interim ruler, talks with students in Caracas, Venezuela February 11, 2019

    Maduro: Guaido Will Have to 'See Face of Justice' After Return to Venezuela

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday said he thinks that opposition leader Juan Guaido must face trial after his return to Venezuela from Colombia, where he travelled in defiance of the travel ban imposed by the Venezuelan Supreme Court.

    "He can leave and come back and will have to see the face of justice because justice had prohibited him from him leaving the country… He has to respect the laws," Maduro told ABC News.

    Answering a question about the possible arrest of Guaido, the president noted that only a court can make such a decision.

    Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who seeks to oust Maduro and backed by the United States, arrived in the Colombian border city of Cucuta on February 22, despite the travel ban issued on him. He went there to help deliver humanitarian aid from the United States and a number of other countries, even though the Venezuelan government refused to accept it. While the attempt to forcefully bring the aid into Venezuela failed, Guaido stayed in Colombia to take part in Monday's meeting of the Lima Group in Bogota. Guaido announced on Monday that he intends to return to Venezuela this week.

    READ MORE: US Spy Plane Reportedly Spotted Over Venezuela as Maduro Warns of Risk of War

    Guaido's Declared Himself Interim President

    On January 5 Guaido was elected as president of the Venezuelan opposition-run National Assembly, whose authority has not been recognized by any other branch of power since 2016. On January 23, days after the Supreme Court nullified Guaido's election as the National Assembly's head, the opposition leader proclaimed himself Venezuelan interim president.

    Maduro, whose new presidential term, disputed by the opposition that boycotted last year's election, began on January 10, accused "US puppet" Guaido of trying to stage a US-orchestrated coup.

    READ MORE: US Preparing for Military Incursion in Venezuela — Moscow

    The United States and around 50 other countries have endorsed the opposition leader as the Venezuelan acting president.

    China and Russia, along with many other countries, have voiced their support for Maduro's legitimate government. Mexico and Uruguay, in turn, have refused to back Guaido and declared themselves neutral, promoting dialogue as a means to resolve the crisis in the country.

    READ MORE: Pence Offers Aid Supporting Guaido, Deals Sanctions to Venezuelan Officials

    Topic:
    Political Crisis in Venezuela (394)
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    travel ban, Nicolas Maduro, Juan Guaido, Venezuela
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