The mother of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido could not contain her joy as she welcomed her son home on Monday.
The opposition leader has returned to his homeland to renew his campaign to topple the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
His mother, Norka Márquez, was waiting with a huge hug as Guaido landed at the country’s main airport, about 25 miles from the capital Caracas.
Their emotional reunion was captured in cell phone footage and shared online.
Norka Márquez (left) met her son Juan Guaido (right) with a warm hug Monday morning after he returned home from a nearly two-week trip abroad while looking to drum up support to unseat Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro
Embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro (pictured) threatened to have Guaido arrested if he ever stepped foot inside Venezuela after leaving 10 days ago and crossing into Colombia to spearhead support to force him out from office
Immigration officials at Simón Bolívar International Airport in Caracas, Venezuela, welcome back Guaido (center), who is accompanied by his wife Fabiana Rosales (pictured to the right)
The mother-son embrace was a poignant reminder to many parents in Venezuela who long to welcome back their children who have in recent years fled the country that was once considered one of the most economically stable in Latin America.
Guaido had spent nearly two weeks meeting with top leaders of neighboring countries in Latin America and the United States as he sought support to bring an end to Maduro’s socialist government.
The leader of the National Assembly is recognized by 50 countries, including the U.S., as Venezuela’s leader.
He traveled across the Venezuelan-Colombian border to coordinate the transportation of international humanitarian aid but Maduro blocked it from crossing the nation’s aerial, maritime and land borders.
Declarations made by Maduro during an interview with ABC News on February 26 placed a target on Guaido’s back as the Venezuelan President ruled that his opponent would be arrested upon his return.
A day after returning to his native homeland, Venezuela’s interim president and leader of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido met with public employee union to seek support in his battle to remove Nicolás Maduro from the presidency
‘He can leave and return, but he will have to see the face of justice, because Justice had forbidden him to leave the country,’ Maduro said.
‘You have to respect the laws.’
The embattled Venezuelan leader’s loyalists also made their own media rounds in the recent days, threatening Guaido, a rising political figure, with imprisonment.
Those orders eventually fell on deaf ears as Guaido returned from his 10-day trip and cleared the customs center at Simón Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetía, a city located 21 miles south of the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.
Juan Guaido and his mother Norka Márquez hug it out after he arrived at an airport in Caracas on Monday amidst fears he would face arrest
On Tuesday, the opposition leader met with public employee unions to drum up support in order to place additional pressure on President Maduro.
Guaido said police officials were among those at a meeting that he held with leaders of public employee unions, which rely heavily on subsidies from Maduro’s government to get by in a country suffering from hyperinflation and shortages of food and other necessities.
‘We’re not going to collaborate any longer with the dictatorship,’ Guaido said after a meeting at the offices of an engineers’ association in Caracas.
Maduro countered on state television by declaring that in honor of his predecessor Hugo Chavez, he would overcome any attempts by the opposition to unseat him from power.
‘We will defeat them. We will do it for Chavez. We will do it for Venezuela,’ Maduro said.