European Union nations get behind Venezuela's Juan Guaido as acting president

05 February, 2019, 07:11 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Venezuela's opposition chief Juan Guaido

You are making mistakes that will leave your hands covered in blood.

"I don't accept ultimatums from anybody", Maduro told Spanish TV channel La Sexta in an interview broadcast late Sunday.

Latin America is far from Russian Federation, and Venezuela is impoverished, surrounded by hostile neighbors and squarely in the crosshairs of the Trump administration.

Mexico and Uruguay have not recognized Guaido, the head of the National Assembly who declared himself acting president on January 23 in place of Maduro.

Spain, Britain, France and other European Union nations on Monday recognized Venezuela's opposition chief Juan Guaido as interim leader after Maduro rejected their ultimatum a day earlier to call snap presidential elections.

"The imposition of any solutions or the attempt to legitimize the attempt of the power usurpation is, in our viewpoint, the direct and indirect interference in Venezuela's internal affairs".

Guaido issued the call in a surprise appearance via video link to the gathering of Lima Group members and several other partners, including the United States and European countries.

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez steps out of the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, September 12, 2018.

Italy does not recognize the result of Venezuela's presidential election last May, which Maduro won, and wants new elections as soon as possible, Italy's foreign minister told Agence France-Presse on Monday.

Sanchez said he wanted Spain to spearhead a plan of humanitarian aid for Venezuela in the European Union and United Nations.

Ireland has also proposed a more cautious approach towards Guaido, instead lending support to fresh elections.

"Venezuelans have the right to express themselves freely and democratically", French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said in an interview that the election that brought Maduro to power was neither free or fair.

More news: Europe Launches Sanctions-Busting Iran Payment Vehicle

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit to Japan that Guaido "is the legitimate interim president".

Theresa May has thrown her weight behind Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido and threatened sanctions against the socialist regime.

The 35-year-old Guaido, head of the country's National Assembly, has breathed new life into a previously fractured and tired opposition.

In addition to the European pressure, a bloc of Latin American nations and Canada were to meet on Monday seeking to maintain pressure on President Maduro.

The situation has always been denounced by the opposition and Guaido stunned the world on January 23 when he declared himself acting president at a rally, declaring Maduro's presidency "illegitimate" and founded on flawed elections.

The US and other countries have already pledged humanitarian aid for Guaido's administration, though it remains to be seen where and how it can enter the country without the military's support.

Palacek, like numerous protesters, said he doesn't blame Maduro or his predecessor Hugo Chavez for the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

Turning to Washington's role in the Venezuelan crisis, Maduro claimed that "the military option is on (U.S. President) Donald Trump's table".

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was another leading political figure to endorse Guaido as interim president, while also urging him to call an election in the near future.

All eyes are now on Venezuela's military, which has so far been Maduro's main pillar of support, but there have been signs of unrest in the ranks.

On Saturday, an air-force general defected to the opposition and reportedly fled to Colombia.

On Sunday, Maduro addressed troops on military exercises, calling on them for "maximum cohesion".

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