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    'Significant Response': Bolton Warns Against Attempts to Prevent Guaido Return

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    US National Security Advisor John Bolton said Sunday that any attempt to prevent the safe return of Venezuela's self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido would meet "strong and significant response" from Washington.

    Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has announced his return to Venezuela after the Latin American tour he kicked off in defiance of a travel ban, calling for new demonstrations to be held across the country on Monday.

    John Bolton said earlier that Washington plans to create a coalition to change the government in Venezuela amid the ongoing political crisis in the Latin American country.

    "We are trying to rally support for the peaceful transition of power from [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro to [self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela] Juan Guaido, whom we recognize as president […] I'd like to see as broad a coalition as we can put together to replace Maduro, to replace the whole corrupt regime. That's what we are trying to do", Bolton said in an interview for the CNN broadcaster.

    Earlier this week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has  repeatedly slammed Guaido as a "US puppet" and accused Washington of trying to stage a coup in Venezuela, said that the opposition leader must be tried if he returns.

    READ MORE: Guaido Could Face 30-Year Jail Term for Violating Travel Ban — Venezuelan Court

    US-backed Guaido, who proclaimed himself Venezuelan interim president in January, crossed into Colombia on 22 February in defiance of a Venezuelan Supreme Court order barring him from leaving the country due to an ongoing investigation. After unsuccessful attempts to deliver US-sponsored humanitarian aid to Venezuela from the neighboring country, Guaido said that he plans to return home. According to the deputy judge of the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Juan Carlos Valdez, Guaido may face up to 30 years in jail for breaching foreign travel ban.

    US Special Envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams has threatened Caracas with a major international reaction in case of Guaido’s arrest.

    The United States has recognized Guaido and around 50 other countries followed suit. Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia, Iran, Turkey and a number of other states have, in the meantime, voiced their support for the legitimate government of constitutionally elected Maduro. Mexico and Uruguay have refused to recognize Guaido, declaring themselves neutral and promoting crisis settlement via dialogue.

    READ MORE: US Arming 'Liberation Army' in Colombia to Invade Venezuela – Envoy to UN

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (564)

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    return, safety, warning, Juan Guaido, John Bolton, United States, Venezuela
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