Juan Guaido says he is ready to be imprisoned by the autocratic regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. He also prepared contingency plans for supporters so that they can continue their fight against Maduro:
“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,’’
During an interview, Guaido shared his opinion that an arrest would only serve to unify the opposition and increase pressure from the local and international political fronts.
For Guiado, that would constitute Maduro’s “Final Act”.
Being the head of the opposition-dominated National Assembly, Venezuelan law entitled Guaido immunity from prosecution.
However, Maduro created a so-called Constituent Assembly of socialist-party loyalists in order to bypass that legislature.
Recently, Guaido lost his immunity because he defied a travel ban to go to Latin American countries to support the call for a regime change in Venezuela.
Last February, Guaido traveled to Colombia to meet with heads of state to earn international support to his advocacy. Despite the possibility of arrest, he still went back to Venezuela and continued protest activities.
Authorities are determined to bring Guaido and his allies down.
Last March, intelligence police arrested Roberto Marrero, Guaido’s chief of staff, accusing him leading a “terrorist cell.’’
Maduro’s party have driven prominent detractors into exile, including Leopoldo Lopez, Guaido’s political mentor, who was sentenced to almost 14 years in prison after launching a series of demonstrations. He is now under house arrest with orders to stay quiet.
Although Guaido is fully aware that he can be arrested anytime, he said he was still coming to terms with what might happen to him in prison. The regime has been accused of human-rights violations that include torture and extrajudicial killings.
“I’ve had to see evil up close,” Guaido said. “But nothing can prepare you for being kidnapped, killed or watching your family suffer.”