Venezuela opposition leader Guaido to attend Davos

Caracas (AFP) - Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido -- who declared himself acting president last year -- will attend this week's World Economic Forum in Davos, lawmaker Stalin Gonzalez told AFP on Monday.

Guaido is currently in Colombia where he is due to meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo but Gonzalez, a Guaido ally, said the National Assembly speaker will then head to Switzerland for the annual economic meeting that opens on Tuesday.

Despite being banned from leaving the country by the regime of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, Guaido surfaced in Bogota on Sunday where Colombian President Ivan Duque welcomed him with full presidential honors.

Colombia is a main ally in Guaido's bid to force Maduro from power and set up a transitional government in Venezuela ahead of new elections.

Guaido launched his challenge to Maduro's authority a year ago, a move quickly recognized by Colombia and the United States among more than 50 countries.

Maduro's regime has placed a travel ban on Guaido but last February he defied it to visit allied South American countries, garnering support for his attempts to bring in humanitarian aid to Venezuela, whose economy has collapsed.

Millions face shortages of basic necessities such as food and medicine while the United Nations says 4.6 million people have fled the country during the crisis.

Guaido failed in his bid to bring in the aid, though, as Venezuela's armed forces -- who remain loyal to Maduro -- blockaded border entry points from Colombia, Brazil and Curacao.