Interim President Juan Guaido has vowed to return to Venezuela this week, but he will make a stop in Brazil first. Brazil's president has supported Guaido and encouraged the flow of aid into Venezuela.
Venezuela's interim president, Juan Guaido, will travel to Brazil prior to his planned return to Venezuela, a member of his government said on Wednesday.
"The interim president of Venezuela will meet on Thursday afternoon with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at the Planalto Palace," said Maria Teresa Belandria, Guaido's appointed ambassador to Brazil. Belandria has been recognized as Venezuela's top diplomat by Bolsonaro's government.
According to Brazilian presidential spokesman Otavio Rego Barros, the meeting between Guaido and Bolsonaro will not be official. Instead, the Brazilian president "will host Guaido in a personal visit, while Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo will hold official talks with the interim president.
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The two-day trip to Brazil comes on the heels of a turbulent weekend along the Venezuelan borders with Colombia and Brazil, as Guaido and his allies unsuccessfully attempted to bring humanitarian aid into the country.
The interim president has vowed to return to Venezuela this week, despite the fact that he violated a court-imposed travel ban when he crossed the border. "My role and my duty are to be in Caracas, despite the risks and regardless of what that implies," Guaido said in an interview with Colombian media.
Pence rejects Maduro meeting
Jorge Arreaza, Venezuela's top diplomat under acting President Nicolas Maduro, addressed his country's crisis at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday, prompting a walkout by multiple diplomats from Latin America and Europe.
Arreaza denounced what he called "aggression" being perpetrated by the United States against Venezuela, saying the "economic blockade against Venezuela, as well as the blockade against Cuba, are coercive unilateral measures that violate the UN charter."
Despite the criticism, Arreaza then proposed that President Donald Trump meet with Maduro. "We are proposing the path of dialogue, even with the United States. Why shouldn't they meet, President Trump and President Maduro?" Arreaza said.
But US Vice President Mike Pence, who reaffirmed his support for Guaido when the two met in Bogota earlier this week, flatly rejected Arreaza's offer. "The only thing to discuss with Maduro at this point is the time and date for his departure," he said on Twitter.
Dueling UN votes
The international showdown over Venezuela was on display Thursday, when the UN Security Council failed to pass two rival draft resolutions from the US and Russia on the subject.
The US resolution called for presidential elections to end the political standoff and demanded the entry of aid to ease shortages of food and medicine. Russia's competing measure urged for a peaceful settlement of the crisis and reiterated that aid deliveries to Venezuela require the consent of Maduro's government.
jcg/cmk (EFE, AFP, dpa, Reuters)