CARACAS, March 6. /TASS/. The unimpeded return of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido to the country cannot be regarded as any sort of validation that incumbent President Nicolas Maduro is weak, Venezuelan political analyst and consultant Dimitris Pantulas has told TASS.
Guaido left the country in late February despite the Supreme Court’s ban and arrived in Caracas on Monday without encountering any resistance from the authorities. "Guaido’s arrival in the country shows <…> that Maduro acted cleverly and rationally [by letting him enter the country], and this cannot in any way be seen as some sort of demonstration [of his] weakness, as some assert. The situation is exactly the opposite," Pantulas pointed out.
According to the expert, the head of state realizes that Guaido’s arrest would have led to intensified pressure on the Venezuelan government from the international community and to the amplification of protests in Caracas that would have gone hand in hand with violence. In his view, this scenario is "the last thing that Maduro wants at the moment."
The opposition leader himself said on Tuesday that the government had not responded to his return because of mounting contradictions inside it.
Guaido declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas on January 23. Several countries, including the United States, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him as president. Venezuela's incumbent President Nicolas Maduro blasted these actions as an attempted coup and said that he was cutting diplomatic ties with Washington.
In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.