Caracas (AFP) – Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido reappeared in the street in videos distributed Saturday by his team and parliamentary allies, after foreign minister Jorge Arreaza claimed he had taken refuge in the French embassy in Caracas.
“They are the ones who are hiding… $15 million reward for them. I am showing my face,” said Guaido in one of the videos, which show him wearing a mask and gloves to protect himself from COVID-19 as he walks down a line of cars, greeting and chatting with drivers.
Guaido, the parliamentary speaker who is recognized as interim president of Venezuela by 50 countries, was referring to the accusation by the United States of “narcoterrorism” against the socialist government of Nicolas Maduro.
The videos — which did not specify the date or location they were filmed — were released after Arreaza on Thursday said Guaido was hiding in the French embassy, and demanded he be handed over to “Venezuelan justice.”
On Friday France denied the accusation.
“Juan Guaido is not in the French residence in Caracas. We have confirmed this to the Venezuelan authorities several times,” said the French foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll.
Maduro and his administration have labeled Guaido a “fugitive from justice” although there is no known arrest warrant against him.