Juan Guaidó, in front of a screen showing Nicolás Maduro in an act of the Venezuelan Assembly, in September 2019. MATIAS DELACROIX (AFP)
Juan Guaidó has become the protagonist of a party to which he was not invited and has placed the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, before a diplomatic conflict that he did not see coming.
This is a key week for Petro and his role in the Venezuelan crisis.
Representatives from 20 countries will meet this Tuesday at a summit in Bogotá to try to reactivate the dialogue between Chavismo and the opposition that has been paralyzed for months.
Neither of the two parties will participate in the meeting, but both the government of Nicolás Maduro and the opposition delegation in the dialogue have given their support to the meeting.
However, the presence of Guaidó in Colombia, who arrived in the country by car without going through a border post, has become a powder keg that threatens to make the conference fail.
All the options that are now open pose a problem for Colombia, which in recent months has reestablished relations with Venezuela and has the confidence of the United States to lead a rapprochement with the country.
Guaidó is Maduro's greatest enemy.
A source who has spoken with the president of Venezuela assures that he usually says that he would be capable of passing power to anyone except Leopoldo López or Juan Guaidó.
The former interim president, who is heading to Bogotá this Monday afternoon, has promised to give a press conference upon his arrival, but nothing is known of his intentions once here.
"I have come within the framework of the summit called by President Petro," he said in a statement this morning, the form he used to announce his departure from Venezuela.
Guaidó refused to participate last Saturday in the meeting that the Government of Colombia held with the opposition delegation, present these days in Bogotá, on the sidelines of tomorrow's summit.
Already then the former interim president would be planning his trip.
Opposition sources, who were unaware of his intentions, consider that his presence is a way of "boycotting" the international event which, after years of being out of focus, they consider to once again focus attention on the situation. from the country.
They also understand that the politician has taken advantage of the summit to go into exile and flee Venezuela, although he has not confirmed that he does not plan to return.
The Petro government is looking at this time to get rid of a problem that grows as the politician's car approaches the capital.
Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva has so far been the only one to take a public position.
This morning he warned that Guaidó was not invited to the summit - as no other opponent or member of Chavismo is - and this afternoon he assured that they had entered Colombia in an "inappropriate" way.
A source from the Executive assures that the Colombian Government wants the opposition leader to leave the country tonight, even that the United States is mediating for him to travel to Miami.
In the Colombian Executive there is fear that Guaidó will request political asylum and the reaction of the Government of Nicolás Maduro if it happens.
Petro has spent months of ant work, the only one that works with Chavismo, to advance relations that had been broken for several years and mediate to return to dialogue in Mexico, where the government and opposition are expected to agree on agreements to celebrate elections with democratic guarantees in Venezuela in 2024. Chavismo is a specialist in delaying any process and blowing up any progress overnight, as it did when it got up from the dialogue table.
Any detail that Maduro considers a grievance, such as asylum for his greatest political enemy, can lead him to break any bridge for an indefinite period of time.
Waiting and delays are the best asset of Chavismo,
Another of the Colombian government's fears is that Venezuela will issue an arrest warrant against the former interim president for whatever reason it can think of.
If he does, the Petro government would have to decide whether to extradite him or not.
If he is extradited, which is highly unlikely, the United States would automatically withdraw its support.
If he doesn't, it would be Maduro who would close the door once and for all.
The Government of Colombia is working at this time so that none of this happens, with the intention that Juan Guaidó leaves the country tonight and the summit is held tomorrow with a focus on what is important.
The last word, in any case, belongs to the Venezuelan politician, who until last December was the interim president of Venezuela with the endorsement of numerous countries, including the US. A strategy of a parallel government that was born with the intention of ousting to Chavismo, but which never achieved its objectives and ended up dissolved by the same opposition.
Now Guaidó is once again the protagonist, but this time he is completely alone.
Neither the United States, nor Colombia, nor Chavismo, nor the bulk of the opposition welcome the politician's latest move.
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