Paraguay's President Mario Abdo Benitez Friday welcomed Venezuelan dissident acting President Juan Guaidó, saying the latter represented hope for his people. Abdo added Nicolás Maduro's tyranny must end.
Guaidó, who has been recognised as president of Venezuela by some 50 nations, arrived in Asunción after an informal meeting with Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro.
Upon deplaning, Guaido thanked the people of Paraguay and President Abdo Benitez for their support. Guaido was made eligible for statesman's honours with a military music band which played both national anthems.
After a private meeting with Abdo at the government house, Guaido vowed to return to Caracas as soon as possible despite reported threats against his life. We will keep fighting, he said.
A very clear transition towards democracy is in process, added Guaido as he thanked the brotherly people of Paraguay for deciding to cooperate towards that aim.
Guaido also said that 600 members of Venezuela's military had abandoned Maduro's government following this past week's clashes over the shipment of humanitarian aid.
For his part, Abdo expressed his solidarity with the people of Venezuela, and again stood behind his decisions regarding the Venezuelan crisis, which included cutting all diplomatic ties with the Maduro regime, thus becoming the first country to do it after which many others followed suit.
Abdo actively supports Guaido, having been present at the fund-raising concert in Cúcuta, Colombia.
After his Paraguay stop, Guaido was due to travel to Argentina later in the day.