Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido appeared to have breezed through security at an airport near Caracas on Tuesday, returning home without incident from a risky global tour that included a White House meeting with United States President Donald Trump.
Guaido - who had defied a travel ban to visit Colombia, the United States, Canada and several European nations - was greeted by a throng of cheering supporters at the worldwide airport outside the capital Caracas.
"Now more than ever, we need unity, confidence and political discipline. It's time to move forward".
HAPLESS Venezuelan political outcast Juan Guaido was surrounded by angry crowds chanting "fascist" while ripping his shirt at Caracas International Airport today after returning from a tour of the U.S. and Europe. He said the Maduro regime has detained his uncle, who traveled with him.
Guaido returned on Tuesday from a three-week global tour that took him to the US, Canada, Colombia and Europe. Some threw traffic cones and others pounded the hood of an SUV that whisked him away.
A visibly shaken Mr Guaido had his shirt torn in the scuffles that broke out after his return to the country after seeking global support for his bid to be crowned president of Venezuela.
Guaido launched the trip with the goal of redoubling backing in Washington and Europe for the oppositioin's effort to remove Maduro.
President Nicolás Maduro "is a coward. who does not show his face, who does not dare to step in a public square without security. he mounts an attack against my family", Guaido told reporters on Wednesday morning before a session of the opposition dominated National Assembly.
In addition to his stop in Washington, Guaido met with European leaders including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He was met by some angry Conviasa workers enraged that last Friday the USA placed sanctions on the state airline company.
But Guaido defended the sanctions, saying they were an "effective" form of pressure and warned of more to come.
Guaido is urging Venezuelans to remain unified and to take to the streets again, demonstrating their will to end the socialist government that the opposition leaders calls a "dictatorship".
In public comments overseas, Guaido urged foreign leaders to increase their support for Venezuelans who are trying to shrug off two decades of socialist rule that have left the country broken, with millions emigrating as public services like water and electricity have become a luxury. He did not immediately announce any plans for organized protests. "Look out for new announcements". The opposition leader seemed to laugh it off.
Mr Maduro urged his supporters to concentrate on defending Venezuela and building the Bolivarian revolution at a rally attended by thousands in the capital.