A Last Gambit
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Colombian authorities expelled Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaidó this week after the former parliamentary leader sought to participate in a summit in Bogotá, Colombia, aimed at resolving the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, Agence France-Presse reported.
Guaidó said in a statement Monday that he had walked across the border from Venezuela to Colombia, hoping to join the summit organized by Colombian President Gustavo Petro – even though he was not officially invited.
But Colombian officials said the opposition politician had arrived in the capital in an “irregular manner” and went later to the capital city’s El Dorado airport for a “departure on a commercial airline to the United States during the night.”
Monday’s developments came a day before a multinational summit in Bogota that will address the Venezuelan crisis: Among the topics are an end to sanctions against that country’s government of socialist President Nicolás Maduro and the restart of stalled negotiations between the government and the opposition, Newsweek noted.
When Maduro was re-elected in 2018 in a widely denounced fraudulent election, the opposition in Venezuela, supported by several nations including the US, refused to accept the results.
Instead, the US imposed more sanctions against Venezuela the following year, having initially imposed punitive measures in 2015 over the harsh suppression of anti-government protests.
Guaidó – who at the time led Venezuela’s legislature – declared himself the country’s interim president, citing the constitution. The move received support from the US and other Western nations in an effort to oust Maduro.
But as Maduro persevered, Guaidó’s support began to fizzle out both nationally and abroad. Earlier this year, Venezuela’s opposition voted to disband its symbolic “interim government” and replaced Guaidó as the head of a parallel congress made up of opposition lawmakers.