Venezuela issues arrest warrant against former opposition leader Juan Guaido

From 2019-2022, Guaido served as interim president of Venezuela

COLOMBIA-VENEZUELA-CRISIS-BORDER-GUAIDO Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido | AFP

Venezuelan authorities have issued an arrest warrant against former opposition leader Juan Guaido. Guaido used the state-owned oil company (Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. or Petroleum of Venezuela) PDVSA’s resources to finance himself and pay his legal expenses, the country's Attorney General Tarek William Saab told CNN.

“Juan Guaido used PDVSA resources to finance himself, pay his legal expenses, and forced PDVSA to accept his financing terms. These decisions caused losses to the nation of $19 billion, resulting in the almost definitive loss of Citgo,” he said. 

From 2019-2022, Guaido served as interim president. In 2019, he challenged the re-election of Nicolas Maduro and proclaimed himself interim president. He then formally ended his term after failing to make significant gains against the authoritarian regime of Nicolas Maduro. While serving as interim president, Guaidio gained the support of several Western nations including the US. 

Guaidio has been living in exile in the US since April 25. Prior to this, he was living in Colombia, from where he was expelled.  

The warrant issued against him will be for alleged crimes of treason, usurpation of functions; profit or extraction of money, securities and public goods; money laundering; and association. According to Saab, at least 28 investigations are going on against Guaidio for the aforementioned charges.

“Guaido used the resources of PDVSA (the public oil giant) to cause losses close to or greater than $19 billion,” adding that he relied on “revelations” provided to the press “by a federal court in the United States,” Saab told AFP. Venezuela is due to hold presidential elections in 2024.

Join our WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news, exclusives and videos on WhatsApp