CARACAS, Venezuela – Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself interim president of Venezuela with the support of the United States, may face up to 30 years in prison for violating a travel ban.
Venezuelan Supreme Court Justice Juan Carlos Valdez said on Tuesday that Guaido’s visit to Colombia on February 22 violated the travel ban imposed by the Venezuelan judiciary.
“He is a person who hides from justice, what happens to the fugitives who are returning to the country and are found by the authorities? They must be captured and sent to prison,” Valdez said, adding that “he may face up to 30 years in prison.”
State prosecutors are currently examining Guiadó’s conduct regarding possible crimes, the judge added.
The opposition leader traveled to Colombia on Friday, allegedly to lead a “human wave” across the border and force border guards and military personnel to allow “humanitarian aid” provided by the United States. However, as soon as the aid did not enter, Guaidó was not seen anywhere, while his followers became involved in clashes with the security forces.
Later, the self-proclaimed president traveled to the Colombian capital of Bogota, where he participated in the Lima Group’s Monday meeting, supporting the US attempt to force re-elected Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to resign.
During the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Venezuela, US special envoy Elliott Abrams announced that more sanctions will be applied against Caracas later this week.
“We have said that sanctions will continue, we announced sanctions yesterday,” Abrams said. “There will be more, there will be more this week, there will be more next week. We’ll continue to impose sanctions on high-ranking members of the regime and people who handle their financial affairs.”
Guaidó told Colombian broadcaster NTN24 that he intends to return to Venezuela despite the risk of being arrested.