By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro publicly gave his support for Venezuela’s self-declared interim president, Juan Guaidó on Thursday after meeting with the Venezuelan legislator in Brasilia. Bolsonaro stated that Brazil will act, within the established laws, to reestablish democracy in the neighboring country.
“We will spare no effort within the law and our Constitution so that democracy can be restored in Venezuela,” President Bolsonaro said in a press conference after the meeting.
“This (return to democracy) will only be possible with transparent and trustworthy elections. We are interested in a free, prosperous and economically-strong Venezuela,” added the Brazilian president.
Guaidó arrived in Brazil on Thursday morning for a ‘courtesy call’. The Venezuelan legislator was not given the head-of-state treatment by Brazilian officials because he has yet to be recognized by all as Venezuela’s leader.
In his social media account, Guaidó said that he came to Brazil in search of support for the transition of government in Venezuela. The Latin American country has been facing a political and economic crisis for the past two years, which culminated in a showdown this past weekend, when Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, closed the borders of his country with Brazil and Colombia.
Despite threats of imprisonment by Maduro’s government, Venezuela’s self-proclaimed Juan Guaidó has said he will return to Venezuela by next Monday, after stopping in Paraguay to talk to leaders there.
“Of course there is a risk, including that of life, in exercising politics in Venezuela, but we also have a duty; we resolved to give our life to the service of a country,” he said during the press conference with Bolsonaro.
While in Brasilia Guaidó, also met with other foreign officials, including US diplomats at the US Embassy and again heard that he has the support of the US government to ‘advance the process of democratization’ of the neighboring country.