Mar 4, 2019

Guaidó returns to Venezuela, setting up possible clash with Maduro

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

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Cuomo: Engaging in politics during coronavirus crisis is "anti-American"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a Monday press briefing that he won't get into a political tussle with President Trump — calling it "counterproductive" and "anti-American" — as his state deals with the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.

The backdrop: Trump said during an appearance on "Fox & Friends" earlier Monday that Cuomo has received high polling numbers during the outbreak because New York has received federal aid.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 755,591 — Total deaths: 36,211 — Total recoveries: 158,527.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 148,089 — Total deaths: 2,599 — Total recoveries: 4,886.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Navy hospital ship arrives in Manhattan.
  4. State updates: At least 30 states have issued stay-at-home orders to residents. — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said more than 9,500 people have been hospitalized.
  5. Business latest: Macy's will furlough the majority of it's workers this week, as the chain's stores remain closed.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Axios co-founder Roy Schwartz discusses his experience being diagnosed with the virus.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Maryland and Virginia issue coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued stay-at-home orders on Monday, with exceptions for residents engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions.

The big picture: The states are the latest to announce policies to enforce social distancing, which have affected almost 250 million Americans. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide had been asked to stay home as of last week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 39 mins ago - Health