Venezuelan opposition leader Guaido says will take part in Lima group meeting

On 21 February, Guaido set off to Venezuela’s border with Colombia to welcome the arrival of the US aid convoy. The relief aid was gathered at logistics hubs in Roraima in Brazil, Cucuta in Colombia, and on the Caribbean island of Curacao.

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido announced that he would take part in Lima Group meeting on Monday and would meed US Vice President Mike Pence.

“On Monday, I will participate in the Lima Group meeting to meet with the presidents of the countries of the region and US Vice President Mike Pence to discuss possible diplomatic actions and cooperation,” Guaido said at a press conference in Colombia on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Pence aide confirmed that the US Vice President plans to meet with Guaido in Bogota on Monday ahead of Lima Group meeting.

Guaido later announced on his Twitter page after failing to get the aid through closed borders, that he proposes to international community to “have all options open” for “ensuring freedom of the homeland”.

“Today’s circumstances force me to make a decision and officially tell the international community that all options must be on the table for ensuring freedom of the homeland, which is fighting and will continue to fight. Hope was not born to die,” he wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

Recently, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo also reiterated that all options were on the table in Venezuela, but “we are very hopeful that the Venezuelan people and the Venezuelan military will come to understand that Maduro’s days are past”.

The report comes as the Venezuelan opposition tried to ensure deliveries of the US-sponsored humanitarian aid to the country via neighboring Colombia and Brazil, which resulted in numerous clashes on Saturday. 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro refused to allow in unauthorized aid deliveries, saying that they are a ploy to topple his government. The government closed first the land border with Brazil and the sea border with the Lesser Antilles and then shut several border crossings with Colombia. The United Nations and international aid groups have similarly warned against politicizing humanitarian aid.

Meanwhile, Maduro thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on Thursday for the supplies of medicines to the crisis-torn country, adding that that China, Cuba, India, Palestine and Turkey were also among the states that provided medicines and medical equipment to Venezuela. The president also said that Venezuela has agreed to accept humanitarian aid from the European Union.

Juan Guaido escalated Venezuela’s political crisis last month by declaring himself interim president, with US support, which prompted Maduro to accuse Washington of trying to orchestrate a coup. Russia, China, Mexico, among other nations, have reaffirmed their support for Maduro as the country’s only legitimate head of state and called for dialogue. In addition, the United Nations also still recognizes Maduro as Venezuela’s president.

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