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Juan Guaidó (in suit, smiling) is greeted at the Caracas airport by a throng of press and supporters. Photo: Matias Delacroix/AFP/Getty Images

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó returned to Venezuela Monday despite embattled President Nicolás Maduro's warning that he could be arrested for violating a travel ban.

Backdrop: Guaidó left Venezuela on Feb. 22, crossing into Colombia and bringing about a major showdown with Maduro the next day by attempting to bring truckloads of U.S. aid across the border. After Maduro's loyalists blocked the aid, Guaidó remained out of the country for 9 days. With the U.S. keeping a military option open, and both national security adviser John Bolton and Vice President Pence warning of a robust response if Guaidó is arrested, a showdown between Maduro and Guaidó could lead to a military confrontation.

"As Mr. Guaidó flew into the country, large military contingents surrounded the Simon Bolívar Airport. A number of European diplomats had come to the airport to offer their support," the New York Times reports.

  • Guaidó was greeted by a huge crowd of supporters at the airport, and there were demonstrations in Caracas and around the country.
  • Bolton vowed a "strong and significant" U.S. response to "threats or acts" against Guaidó, while Pence tweeted that "any threats, violence, or intimidation against him will not be tolerated & will be met with swift response."
  • Bolton was asked Sunday by CNN's Jake Tapper whether the Trump administration's support for other dictators around the world undermines its moral stand against Maduro. He invoked the Monroe Doctrine, saying: "This is a country in our hemisphere, it's been the objective of American presidents going back to Ronald Reagan to have a completely democratic hemisphere."

Go deeper with Axios Expert Voices: Venezuela stalemate calls for third-party mediation, monitored elections

Go deeper

39 mins ago - Podcasts

Butterball CEO Jay Jandrain talks turkey

Butterball estimates that it sells one out of every three Thanksgiving turkeys, but knows that this year's celebrations will be different than years past.

Axios Re:Cap talks with the turkey giant's CEO Jay Jandrain about what people are buying, what they're asking the "Turkey Talkline" and what the pandemic has meant for his business.

Biden introduces top national security team

President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke Tuesday at an event introducing the incoming administration's top national security officials, where he told the story of his stepfather being the only one of 900 children at his school in Poland to survive the Holocaust.

What they're saying: "At the end of the war, he made a break from a death march into the woods in Bavaria. From his hiding place, he heard a deep rumbling sound. It was a tank. But instead of the iron cross, he saw painted on its side a five pointed white star," Blinken said.

America's Chinese communities struggle with online disinformation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Disinformation has proliferated on Chinese-language websites and platforms like WeChat that are popular with Chinese speakers in the U.S., just as it has on English-language websites.

Why it matters: There are fewer fact-checking sites and other sources of reliable information in Chinese, making it even harder to push back against disinformation.

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