CARACAS – Venezuela’s interim President Juan Guaido, recognized as such by more than 50 nations, was pushed and beaten on Tuesday by a pro-regime mob that awaited him at the Simon Bolivar International Airport, which serves Caracas, upon his return from a 23-day international tour that included the United States.
Just as he left the air terminal, about 200 people accosted Guaido and reportedly began beating him, both with their fists and with assorted blunt objects, also attacking his wife Fabiana Rosales and several opposition lawmakers who recognize him as head of the National Assembly and were on hand to welcome him home.
Several reporters were also allegedly attacked and robbed by the Chavist mob supporting leftist incumbent Nicolas Maduro in front of dozens of members of the Bolivarian National Police (PNB) and the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), Venezuela’s militarized police, who reportedly did nothing to prevent or halt the attacks.
The 36-year-old politician arrived in Venezuela about 5:00 pm and was welcomed by dozens of opposition lawmakers and other supporters.
Minutes later, as he and his entourage left the arrival hall, he was subjected to manhandling and punches by the hostile crowd for several minutes until he left the area in a gray vehicle.
“Venezuela: we’re in Caracas. I’m bringing the commitment of the free world, ready to help us recover democracy and freedom. A new period is starting that will not allow reversals and that needs all of us doing what we need to do. The time has come,” Guaido wrote on Twitter before leaving the airport.
The opposition leader was scheduled to speak in a public square in eastern Caracas about 6:30 pm.
About 100 Venezuelan regime supporters, some of them identified as workers for the state-run Conviasa airline, which was recently sanctioned by the US administration of Donald Trump, gathered hours earlier at the terminal entrance and shouted slogans against Guaido.
Chanting phrases such “Guaido, fascist pro-imperialist” and “Out with the right, the homeland is to be respected,” the Maduro supporters jammed the terminal and even argued with opposition lawmakers forcing many of them to abandon the area.
Some of the demonstrators displayed signs on which could be read messages such as “Guaido, damned bootlicker of the gringos” and “Guaido, faggot.”
The lawmakers, meanwhile, encountered problems getting into the terminal after the bus on which they had arrived was halted at a police cordon.
Several of the legislators then decided to make their way on foot over a lengthy stretch to the airport and thus demonstrate their support for Guaido.