Guaido was not expelled despite his illegal entry to Colombia: Petro
Colombia's Foreign Minister says Guaido had already purchased a plane ticket to the US before entering the country illegally.
Colombia's left-wing President Gustavo Petro denied expelling Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, despite the latter's "illegal entry to the country."
Guido claimed on Monday that the Colombian authorities kicked him out, just hours after the opposition figure landed in Bogota to attend a conference hosted by Petro to discuss the Venezuelan issue.
"Mr. Guaido was not expelled and it is better that this lie does not appear in politics," said Petro on Twitter.
"Mr. Guaido has an agreement to travel to the US. We allowed it for humanitarian reasons despite the illegal entry into the country," he added.
Al señor Guaidó no se le expulsó es mejor que la mentira no aparezca en la política. El señor Guaidó tenía un acuerdo para viajar a EEUU. Nosotros lo permitimos por razones humanitarias a pesar de la entrada ilegal en el país. https://t.co/tRb6Uzk114— Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) April 25, 2023
Both Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Guaido were not invited to the conference addressing the matters in their country.
The event was originally established by Pero in Mexico City in 2021 as a negotiation platform between the Venezuelan government and the opposition, but the talks reached a deadlock in November 2022.
Broke the law on foot
Guaido claimed on Monday that he had reached Colombia crossing from Venezuela "on foot" the "same way as millions of Venezuelans before" him.
"I hope the summit can guarantee that the Maduro regime will return to the negotiation table in Mexico and that a credible timeline can be agreed upon for free and fair elections to be held as a solution for the conflict," he said.
He later posted a video on his Twitter page while inside a plane.
"After 60 hours on the road to get to Bogota, escaping the persecution of the dictatorship, defying the Maduro regime, they are taking me out of Colombia," he said.
Por las amenazas directas a mi familia e hijas del régimen de Maduro, que se extendieron a Colombia, estoy tomando este vuelo. Hasta lograr elecciones libres en Venezuela continuaremos luchando. Mañana les daré más detalles. pic.twitter.com/atam1f4n6E— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) April 25, 2023
Guaido arrived in Bogota in an "irregular manner", said the Colombian Foreign Ministry.
The opposition leader was transported to El Dorado airport in the capital for a "departure on a commercial airline to the United States during the night," the statement read.
"The ticket had already been purchased by him."
Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva said Guaido had entered the country without the knowledge of the Colombian authorities.
"Here, we have not closed the doors to anyone, this is not a country that expels, it is a country that simply seeks to have its constitution and law complied with."
Petro's predecessor, right-wing president Ivan Duque, broke ties with Venezuela in support of the Western-imposed political figure Guaido. But Petro later revoked the decision when he came to office and took on a policy to try and end the political crisis through negotiations.
The conference on Venezuela, which aims to revive talks between the Venezuelan government and the opposition, saw some 24 delegations from several regions of the world, including Europe and Latin and North America.
After the 2018 presidential election that regenerated Nicolas Maduro as President, Guaido declared himself Venezuela’s alleged "interim president" in 2019. However, US-backed opposition lawmakers voted in January to strip him of that role and instead appoint a committee to run what they call their "interim government".