France has rejected allegations that Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has been holed up inside the nation’s diplomatic mission in Caracas.
Venezuelan officials have called him a fugitive from justice.
“Juan Guaido is not at the French residence in Caracas. We have repeatedly confirmed this to the Venezuelan authorities,” French Foreign Ministry spokesperson Agnes von der Muhll said. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza earlier claimed that Guaido, who was named ‘interim president’ by the opposition-controlled parliament last year, has been hiding inside the French Embassy, and demanded that Paris hand him over.
Last year, pro-government lawmakers stripped Guaido of legal immunity. He is being investigated for attempting to usurp power in the country. Guaido has denied seeking refuge in the French Embassy. The opposition has been staging protest rallies in Venezuela, with Guaido calling on the military and police to join him. However, most of the army and law enforcement personnel remain loyal to President Nicolas Maduro, and there have been pro-government rallies as well.
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