Venezuela's Guaido arrives in Miami after surprise Colombia visit
FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido delivers his accountability speech at a theater in Caracas, Venezuela, January 26, 2023. REUTERS/Gaby Oraa
BOGOTA (Reuters) - Former Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido arrived in Miami on Tuesday, following a surprise visit to Colombia the previous day, where he said he would take part in an international summit.
Guaido unexpectedly arrived in Colombia on the eve of the summit organized by the government of leftist President Gustavo Petro with the aim of restarting stalled negotiations between Venezuela’s government and opposition politicians in Mexico.
He boarded a plane in Colombia's capital Bogota on Monday, just hours after he saying on Twitter that he had crossed into Colombia on foot.
"After 70 hours or more of travel I'm still very worried about my family and team," Guaido told journalists after arriving in Miami, referring to threats they had received.
His visit to Colombia wasn't warmly welcomed by some officials, and the country's Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva said Guaido had entered the Andean country inappropriately.
"Migration Colombia took Juan Guaido, a Venezuelan national who arrived irregularly in Bogota, to El Dorado airport with the aim of ensuring his departure to the United States on a commercial airline," Colombia's foreign ministry said late on Monday, adding Guaido had bought his own ticket.
Guaido had hoped to see members of international delegations organized by the government of Colombia's leftist President Gustavo Petro.
He urged countries participating in the Bogota summit on Tuesday to speak for Venezuelans in exile, being effectively "the voice Maduro wanted to take from me," he said.
The aim of the conference, to be attended by representatives of 19 countries and the European Union, is to help restart stalled talks in Mexico between the government of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and opposition politicians.
Guaido, a 39-year-old industrial engineer, headed an interim government beginning in January 2019, before being replaced as head of the opposition legislature at the end of 2022.
Guaido's political party, Popular Will, rejected his treatment by Colombia's government, it said in a statement.
(Reporting by Oliver Griffin, Deisy Buitrago, Mayela Armas y Vivian Sequera, Writing by Natalia Siniawski; Editing by Bernadette Baum)