Venezuela opposition leader Guaidó returns home after tour

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido arriving at the Simon Bolivar International Airport in Maiquetia Venezuela

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido arriving at the Simon Bolivar International Airport in Maiquetia Venezuela

Opposition leader Juan Guaido waves to supporters as he arrives for a rally at Bolivar plaza in Chacao, a municipality of Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido appeared to have breezed through security at an airport near Caracas on Tuesday, returning home without incident from a risky worldwide tour that included a White House meeting with United States President Donald Trump. "It's time to move forward".

Guaido returned on Tuesday from a three-week global tour that took him to the US, Canada, Colombia and Europe.

Marquez went through airport immigration without event, but as he was exiting he was held by agents of Venezuela's tax agency, Guaido's press team wrote on Twitter.

Guaido had denounced the "disappearance" of his uncle at the airport and said he would hold Maduro responsible for whatever happened to him. Some threw traffic cones and others pounded the hood of an SUV that whisked him away.

"Guaido, fascist!" shouted employees of the state-run airline Conviasa, which was subjected to U.S. sanctions last week, who had entered the area where the 36-year-old's backers were waiting for him. "Guaido!" A few minor clashes broke out between the two sides. The trip's high-point for Guaido came with a meeting inside the Oval Office with Trump, the day after the US president recognized him as the "legitimate president of Venezuela" during his State of the Union address.

He was returning from an global tour, where he rallied support against Maduro officials and met with President Trump.

Trump and Guaido

However, Maduro retains the support of Venezuela's powerful military and has resisted Guaido's challenge, even as the United States ramps up the pressure.

In addition to his stop in Washington, Guaido met with European leaders including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"Stay tuned", he said, teasing the crowd.

Maduro's number two Diosdado Cabello said Monday that he didn't expect much of anything to change after Guaido's travels, which he called a "tourism trip". On Friday, the administration hit the Venezuelan state-run airline CONVIASA with sanctions.

Guaidó is urging Venezuelans to remain unified and to take the streets again, demonstrating their will to end the socialist government that the opposition leaders calls a "dictatorship".

Guaido, who is recognised by more than 50 countries as Venezuela's legitimate president, hopes to revive the inertia of 2019 when he led a groundswell of protests against Maduro. The opposition leader seemed to laugh it off. "Look out for new announcements".

"We're concentrating our efforts on defending Venezuela", Maduro said, telling supporters not to be distracted by "idiots" and "traitors".

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