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Venezuela denies entry of Guatemala’s president-elect

Published: Updated:

The president-elect of Guatemala says officials have blocked him from entering Venezuela where he planned to meet opposition politician Juan Guaido, a foe of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro.

Alejandro Giammattei said he landed early Saturday at the airport near Caracas, but officials denied his entry, escorting him to a departing plane. Guaido launched a campaign early this year with backing from more than 50 nations to unseat Maduro.

Giammattei expresses his support for Guaido in a video posted on Twitter shot from a commercial plane about to depart from Venezuela.

Guaido had traveled to the airport to greet him.

Maduro’s government hasn’t commented on turning away Giammattei.

Maduro maintains control of Venezuela with the backing of the military, saying the Trump administration wants to replace his government with Guaido.