According to an opposition source, Colombia compelled prominent opposition member of Venezuela Juan Guaido to leave its borders on Monday. Only hours after he arrived in Bogota for a meeting on his crisis-torn country.
“It forced him,” the source said on condition of anonymity. Adding that Guaido was “going to the United States on a commercial flight.” But without going into further detail.
The foreign ministry, Columbia has not confirmed the decision. But Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva previously stated that Guaido’s visit could be hampered since “he entered (the country) in an inappropriate manner, and in Colombia, we respect the law.”
According to an opposition source, Guaido did not go through immigration when he landed in Colombia.
Guaido arrived earlier Monday, ahead of a session called by Colombian President Gustavo Petro. To relaunch talks to end Venezuela’s protracted political standoff.
Petro is acting as a go-between for Venezuela’s government and the opposition. Attempting to thaw negotiations that began in Mexico City in 2021 but came to a halt in November.
On Tuesday, officials from approximately 20 countries, including the United States, are expected to attend the summit.
Neither Guaido nor Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro have been invited.
“I arrived in Colombia on foot, just like millions of Venezuelans before me,” Guaido said in a statement.
“I hope the summit can guarantee that the Maduro regime will return to the negotiation table in Mexico. And that a credible timeline can be agreed upon for free and fair elections to be held as a solution to the conflict.”
Guaido had wanted to speak with officials present at the summit.
He had also called for a protest in Bogota’s Plaza de Bolivar square. Which is just a short walk from the palace where the summit will be place.
Guaido, who was recognised as Venezuela’s de facto leader by more than 50 countries in 2019. He has rebuffed pleas from Colombia’s Petro for sanctions against Venezuela to be lifted.
In January, Venezuela’s split opposition voted to abolish its symbolic “interim government.” And Guaido was replaced as the president of a parallel assembly of opposition MPs.
Colombia had been Guaido’s main regional supporter under Petro’s predecessor, right-wing president Ivan Duque. Cutting diplomatic ties with Maduro’s government.
The left-wing Petro has reversed its decision. Instead assuming the lead in a process aimed at resolving Venezuela’s crisis through discussions.