Self-declared Venezuelan “Interim President” Juan Guaido may have been given a hero’s welcome at President Trump’s State of the Union Address last week, but he certainly did not receive the same treatment after he touched down at Simon Bolivar International Airport, Caracas, yesterday. His very presence was enough to turn those present, including airport employees, into an enraged mob hectoring, jeering and manhandling him, kicking his car and covering him in water and other liquids.
Video shows an angry female immigration employee shouting, “You are a traitor to our country” as his passport is getting checked. Others yelled “murderer” and “fascist” at the controversial opposition politician. Guaido was roughed up in a scrum of angry Venezuelans, his shirt ripped and his pride dented. Another video shows an employee of Conviasa (an airline recently sanctioned by Trump) chasing him through the arrivals lounge, pouring beer on him, expressing her contempt for him. He escaped in his car as onlookers pelted it with traffic cones chanting that he was “trash” and a “murderer.”
Perhaps more notable than the event is how corporate media, who have strongly supported Guaio in the past, described the event. The influential French newswire Agence France-Presse described the scenes caught on camera as him “being greeted by a throng of cheering supporters at the Caracas international airport, where he arrived on a flight from Portugal.” And their account was picked up across the media.