Guaido says his ar­rest would doom Maduro

The Buffalo News - - OPINION - – Wash­ing­ton Post

CARA­CAS, Venezuala – Juan Guaido, newly vul­ner­a­ble to ar­rest, says he is pre­pared to be im­pris­oned by the au­to­cratic regime of Venezue­lan Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro and has a con­tin­gency plan for al­lies to con­tinue the protest move­ment he leads.

“In the event that they want to, or try to, kid­nap me, which they can do with­out a doubt, there is a com­plete strat­egy ready to con­tinue with lead­er­ship, but also to in­ten­sify pres­sure,” Guaido said in an in­ter­view fol­low­ing a con­fer­ence on the op­po­si­tion’s pol­icy plans to rem­edy Venezuela’s cri­sis. An ar­rest “would only cat­alyze lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional pres­sure, and I dare say, would be one of the gov­ern­ment’s fi­nal er­ratic po­lit­i­cal ac­tions.”

Venezue­lan law has af­forded Guaido, 35, im­mu­nity from pros­e­cu­tion because he is the head of the op­po­si­tion­dom­i­nated Na­tional Assem­bly. But Maduro cre­ated a so-called Con­stituent Assem­bly to by­pass that leg­is­la­ture, making it po­lit­i­cally om­nipo­tent and stack­ing it with so­cial­ist­party loy­al­ists. On Tues­day, it stripped Guaido of pro­tec­tion, because he de­fied a travel ban to tour Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries that sup­port regime change in Venezuela.

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