AP NEWS

Canada prime minister to welcome Venezuela opposition leader

January 26, 2020 GMT
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The leader of Venezuela's political opposition Juan Guaido laughs after a meeting at the Madrid regional government building during a visit to Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. Juan Guaido, the man who one year ago launched a bid to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, arrived Saturday in Spain, where a thriving community of Venezuelans and a storm among Spanish political parties awaited him.(AP Photo/Paul White)
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The leader of Venezuela's political opposition Juan Guaido laughs after a meeting at the Madrid regional government building during a visit to Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. Juan Guaido, the man who one year ago launched a bid to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, arrived Saturday in Spain, where a thriving community of Venezuelans and a storm among Spanish political parties awaited him.(AP Photo/Paul White)

TORONTO (AP) — Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaidó will visit Canada on Monday as part of an international tour aimed at bolstering support for his challenge to socialist leader Nicolás Maduro.

The office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he and senior Cabinet ministers would meet with Guaidó, whose trip defied a travel ban imposed by Venezuela’s pro-Maduro Supreme Court.

”I commend Interim President Guaidó for the courage and leadership he has shown in his efforts to return democracy to Venezuela, and I offer Canada’s continued support,” Trudeau said in a statement.

Canada is one of more than 50 nations that recognized Guaidó — head of the South American nation’s congress — as Venezuela’s interim president last year on grounds that Maduro’s reelection was illegitimate.

Canada also has imposed sanctions against officials of Maduro’s government and has joined five other nations in referring Maduro to the International Criminal Court.

Despite the international backing for Guaidó, Maduro retains control over all practical aspects of government in Venezuela.

Guadó earlier made stops in in London, Paris, Madrid and the Davos Economic Forum.