CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said Friday that the authorities have not arrested opposition leader Juan Guaidó because the courts have not ordered it, but he warned, “It will come.”
Maduro made the remark in a meeting with the international press three days after Guaidó’s return from a tour of the United States and Europe, despite a court order prohibiting him from leaving the country.
Despite the order, immigration officials let Guaidó into the country after arriving at Venezuela’s main international airport on a commercial flight.
Maduro said that the day the Venezuelan judicial system decides that Guaidó should be detained “for all the crimes he has committed”, he is detained. Venezuela’s judicial system is made up of pro-Maduro officials who routinely issue decrees based on the President’s views.
“This day hasn’t come yet,” he replied to a question from The Associated Press. “But it will come.”
The warning comes when Guaidó tries to revive the momentum in Venezuela for its dwindling opposition movement. Although US President Donald Trump and leaders from almost 60 other nations have expressed continued support, many in Venezuela have become suspicious of the opposition as Maduro remains in the presidency and consolidates his power.
Maduro delivered an angry disgrace against US sanctions, which he compared to “sick persecution”.
Economic pressure has forced him to make decisions that seem to contradict his government’s socialist ideology in order to keep the Venezuelan economy alive.
According to Ecoanalitica, an analysis company based in Caracas, almost half of the population now buys in US dollars. Dollarization has helped revitalize Venezuela’s economy in cities like the capital to a limited extent, while highlighting the differences between those who have access to dollar bills and not.
Maduro has loosened strict currency controls for 16 years last May, allowing banks to buy and sell US dollars at any exchange rate, making it much easier for entrepreneurs to operate in an internationally accepted currency.
“Since I had to choose whether to suppress or allow, I decided to allow it,” he said of increasing dollarization. “It was a choice in the middle of the war. And this choice has allowed the economy to breathe. “
He added that he “is aware of the inequality that arises in this process, but we are at war.”
Maduro has held power despite out of control hyperinflation, massive exodus, and a lack of food and medicine – and Guaidó’s international recognition.