Maiquetia - Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido arrived at Caracas' airport on Monday after flouting a court-imposed travel ban by touring Latin American countries to boost support for his campaign to oust President Nicolas Maduro.
Guaido kept details of his return under wraps and he appeared at Maiquetia international airport without prior notice, meeting ambassadors for European countries in the arrivals hall, according to witnesses.
He had said he would return to lead protests on Monday and Tuesday during the Carnival holiday period, and several hundred opposition supporters had already gathered in Caracas' Las Mercedes district to await him.
"Back in our beloved country! Venezuela, we just passed through immigration and we will now head to where our people are," he said on Twitter just after arriving.
His return could become the next flashpoint in his duel with Maduro as he seeks to keep up momentum and spur his international backers to further isolate the socialist government. Most Western countries recognise Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate head of state.
His possible arrest could allow the opposition to highlight how the Maduro administration represses political foes and prompt the United States to impose even harsher sanctions. But it could also strip the opposition of a public figurehead who has brought unity after years of infighting.
"Upon my arrival, whatever path the dictator takes, we are going to continue," Guaido said earlier on Monday in a recorded voice message posted on his Twitter account.Reuters