Recognized as a legitimate leader of Venezuela by over 50 countries, Juan Guaidó is still a long way from leaving such a decisive impression on people of his crisis-wracked country.
The opposition leader has been fighting to replace the corrupt president, Nicolás Maduro, ruling the South American nation from nearly 7 years. However, not every Venezuelan is backing his mission of assisting the economic and humanitarian crisis.
Guaidó returned to Venezuela from an international tour of three weeks, only to realize the lack of approval from common public. The 36-year-old faced protests, as he arrived at the Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas on Tuesday.
“We’re in Caracas now. I bring back with me the commitment of the free world, ready to help us regain democracy and freedom,” Guaidó wrote on Twitter.
Juan Guaidó recently defied a travel ban to visit several countries — the United States, Canada, Colombia and several European nations — in order to seek support. He also attended the US President Donald Trump’s annual State of the Union Address in Washington.
Tensions erupted soon after the interim President reached the Venezuela capital, where one of the female protesters rebuked him for “selling out the country” and doused him in soda. However, Guaidó laughed it off and was guarded by the security escorts.
Later, several employees of the state-run airline Conviasa called him “fascist”, as they pushed him and grabbed him by his T-shirt. The dissent was a result of the US sanctions on the airlines on claims that it was being used to “shuttle corrupt officials”. A spat between his followers, including diplomats, and Maduro’s rigid supporters was also reported.
The US has been backing Juan Guaidó since he assumed the interim presidency, where the Trump administration is aiming to “smash” the Maduro regime, majorly by cutting his government’s oil revenue. The recent move of criminalizing transaction with the Conviasa airlines is the latest of several other sanctions imposed by Washington earlier.
While speaking to the journalists on Wednesday, Guaidó defended the foreign sanctions as an “effective” form of pressure on Maduro’s government. He also called them the measures of a free world “to regimes (that) violate human rights, torturers and murderers”.
Meanwhile, Maduro, who retains the support of Venezuela’s powerful military, urged his supporters to focus on “defending Venezuela”.
In this political dispute, several powerful nations also remain divided in their support to the two leaders battling for power in Venezuela. The country has been facing a crisis from almost a decade, due to food shortage, insufficient health and housing facilities, as well as poverty. However, with the intervention of global leaders and a prolonged power battle, Venezuela is possibly on the brink of a proxy battle that has led to the destruction of various nations across the world.