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m3n4.net April 22, 2019


Venezuelan crisis: Guaido gets backing from 13 European nations

05 February 2019, 01:08 | Tara Lloyd

European countries have urged Juan Guaido to hold new elections quickly

European nations recognise Guaido as Venezuela's acting president

Britain, France, Spain and Germany were among 15 European nations to officially recognise Juan Guaido as Venezuela's "interim president", in move which was swiftly denounced by Nicolas Maduro as a "gringo plot to overthrow the revolution".

Inside the country, opposition figurehead Juan Guaido, 35, is vying to lure military commanders to switch their allegiance to him away from President Nicolas Maduro, 56.

Spain had earlier become the first leading European Union country to recognize Guaido as interim president as European Union pressure on Maduro increases.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was available to facilitate negotiations between the rival sides in Venezuela.

"I swear ... that I will defend with my life this fatherland under threat", Maduro said at an event in Aragua state in the north, commemorating the 27th anniversary of a failed coup by his late predecessor Hugo Chavez. Those who continue to violate the human rights of ordinary Venezuelans under an illegitimate regime will be called to account. Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Finland, the Czech Republic and Portugal also lined up behind Guaido, the self-declared interim president who also has the support of the United States and many South American nations.

The global pressure on Venezuelan leader Maduro intensified on Monday as a host of European Union nations declared his rival Guaido as interim president. "We are looking at what further steps we can take to ensure peace and democracy in Venezuela including through sanctions".

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"The coward government of Spain has made a awful decision in the history of relations between Spain and Venezuela".

The United Nations will not join any group of nations promoting initiatives to resolve the crisis in Venezuela, the UN chief said Monday, indicating he will not attend a meeting in Uruguay this week of several countries.

Russian Federation also accused European nations of meddling in the Venezuela crisis.

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.

Maduro, who has overseen an economic collapse and the exodus of millions of Venezuelans, maintains the backing of Russia, China and Turkey, and the critical support of the military.

Maduro said Monday he has written to Pope Francis asking for help in fostering dialogue.

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The Vatican didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Maduro's appeal.

Trump warned that military intervention remains "an option" for dealing with the crisis in Venezuela.

Theories about a potential US military incursion into Venezuela multiplied after US National Security Adviser John Bolton was spotted with a notepad that mentioned "5,000 troops to Colombia".

"This does not contribute in any way to the peaceful, effective and vital settlement to the crisis, which Venezuelans are enduring and who should, as we believe, pull through it on their own", the Kremlin spokesman noted.

Mr Guaido, who leads the National Assembly, declared himself caretaker leader last month in a move splitting worldwide powers and bringing Venezuelans onto the streets.

Maduro has rejected a US -backed effort to send emergency food and medicine into Venezuela.

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