Juan Guaido banned from leaving Venezuela
Opposition leader's assets frozen by order of the Supreme Court
Venezuela’s Supreme Court has moved to ban opposition leader Juan Guaido from leaving the country, and has also frozen his bank accounts.
The move is the latest challenge by President Nicolas Maduro, who is refusing to step down from his position despite increasing pressure both domestically and internationally.
Maduro began a second six-year term as president on 10 January, following elections last year that many observers say were illegitimate.
Venezuela’s chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab announced that his office had begun an investigation into Guaido for his anti-government activities.
Saab also accused Guaido of inciting “violent acts” on 23 January, when angry protestors answered the self-proclaimed interim president calls to take to the streets.
“These acts are undermining the peace of the nation,” Saab said.
According to The Guardian, Guaido “appeared to take the threat of imprisonment in his stride”, saying: “We are here, we will keep acting and working to confront the humanitarian crisis.”
Despite Venezuelan generals’ apparent support for Maduro, “a handful of Venezuelan diplomats and officials posted to missions in the United States have said they are abandoning the Maduro government”, The New York Times reports.
The US, along with a number of other countries have publicly stated their backing for Guaido to become president and call fresh elections.
However, the Maduro regime continues to enjoy international support from a number of allies, including Russia.
Meanwhile, as the political crisis drags on, the people of Venezuela are continuing to suffer through a severe humanitarian crisis, with hyperinflation and a lack of food and medicine making life very difficult.