Venezuela’s Maduro says arrest of Juan Guaido ‘will come’

Nicolas Maduro said Venezuela’s justice system will decide if and when Guaido should be imprisoned.

Nicolas Maduro
Maduro holds up a copy of his country's case taken to the International Criminal Court regarding US sanctions during a news conference at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela [Ariana Cubillos/AP Photo]

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Friday that authorities have not detained opposition leader Juan Guaido because the courts have not ordered it, but he warned: “It will come.”

Maduro made the remark in a meeting with the international press three days after Guaido returned from a tour to the United States and Europe, in defiance of a court order prohibiting him from leaving the country.

Despite the order, migration officials let Guaido into the country after he arrived on a commercial flight at Venezuela’s main international airport.

Maduro said that the day Venezuela’s justice system decides Guaido should be imprisoned “for all the crimes he’s committed,” he will be jailed.

“That day hasn’t come yet,” he said in response to a question from The Associated Press news agency. “But it will come.”

Analysts and opponents of Maduro say Venezuela’s judicial system cannot be seen as independent from the executive branch and that it effectively acts as an arm of state power.

Juan Guaido
Opposition leader Juan Guaido asks for silence during a session of the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela [Ariana Cubillos/AP Photo]

Guaido’s trip marked the second time he has travelled outside Venezuela despite the ban. On both occasions, he was allowed back into the country.

The 36-year-old opposition leader has been in a tense power struggle with Maduro since declaring himself Venezuela’s interim president last year.

Guaido’s latest international trip was an attempt to shore up support as his anti-government movement struggles to regain momentum and Maduro consolidates his power.

Source: AP