Guaido says he is on his way home to Venezuela

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Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has returned to Venezuela after flouting a court-imposed travel ban by touring Latin American countries to boost support for his campaign to tighten regional pressure on President Nicolas Maduro. He was greeted by top diplomats from the United States, Germany, Spain and other countries who possibly hoped to head off any move to detain Guaido by bearing witness to his return.

In the video, the leader of the National Assembly's opposition did not give any details about his return.

He has promised to return to Venezuela by Monday, seen as a form of direct defiance to Maduro, who has said Guaido will eventually "face justice".

Maduro has denied the existence of a humanitarian crisis within his country.

The United States and some 50 other countries have recognized Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela, arguing that Maduro's re-election a year ago was invalid because popular opposition candidates were barred from running.

"The regime must understand, the dictatorship must understand. that we're stronger than ever".

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The Supreme Court had imposed the travel ban after he invoked the country's constitution on January 23 to assume an interim presidency, which most Western nations now recognize as legitimate.

Several hundred of his supporters gathered in a Caracas plaza, heeding a call from the self-declared interim president to turn out for his expected return to Venezuela.

The US has also warned Maduro of the consequences of arresting Guaido.

"We are sanctioning members of Maduro's security forces in response to the reprehensible violence, tragic deaths, and unconscionable torching of food and medicine destined for sick and starving Venezuelans", U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. Colombian President Ivan Duque tweeted that Guaido's homecoming was part of the "irreversible path that Venezuela has taken toward democracy".

Maduro, who has the support of China, Russia and Cuba, has said that Guaido's claim to the country's helm is part of a US -backed coup.

Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said that the "appropriate measures" will be taken to address this situation.

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Guaido, who is recognized by most Western nations as Venezuela's rightful leader, visited Paraguay and Argentina on Friday to shore up Latin American support for a transition government for the crisis-stricken nation.

The government has jailed dozens of opposition leaders and activists for seeking to overthrow Maduro through violent street demonstrations in 2014 and 2017, including Guaido's mentor, Leopoldo Lopez, who remains under house arrest.

Maduro on Sunday tweeted that Venezuelans nationwide are enjoying the carnival "in peace and happiness".

"Under other circumstances Guaido would have been immediately arrested", he said.

"Perhaps, when this process began, someone behind it did not think that Maduro would be able to show resistance, " Borrell said in an interview on Spanish TV network LaSexta.

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