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European Union nations recognise Guaido as Venezuela leader

05 February, 2019, 04:55 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • European nations recognise Guaido as Venezuela's acting president

"The people will never surrender", the embattled Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has declared as he condemned what he called the "cowardly" and "disastrous" move by Britain and other European countries to recognise his opponent Juan Guaidó as interim president.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Hunt said the move followed the failure of Nicolas Maduro to call new presidential elections after being set a deadline to do so.

Maduro, for his part, stood defiant, accusing the United States of preparing a coup in the South American country and rejecting a US -backed effort to send emergency food and medicine into his country.

Mr Maduro has ignored this call.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted out his support Monday, saying France recognizes Guaido as Venezuela's "president in charge" and said "Venezuelans have the right to express themselves freely and democratically".

"If someday there'll be a coup; if there'll be a USA intervention of Venezuela, then, Senior Pedro Sanchez, your hands will be stained in blood forever and history will remember you as a puppet in service of Donald Trump's policy of interference", President Maduro said in an address, broadcast live on his Twitter page.

"Juan Guaido is now the person with whom we're speaking and whom we expect to initiate an election process as quickly as possible", German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Tokyo.

During the protest, Guaido announced the installation of collection centres for medicine and food - items lacking in Venezuela - in neighbouring Colombia and Brazil.

Foreign affairs minister Stef Blok said the move was created to put pressure on the incumbent president, Nicolás Maduro, to hold "free democratic and transparent" elections as soon as possible.

Guaido's backers say he is the legitimate leader because he is president of Venezuela's congress, which they regard as the only lawfully elected power in the country.

He added that Venezuela is being "threatened by the biggest powers in the world".

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Monday's declaration came after Guaido made a larger-than-life appeal to Canada and its Western Hemisphere partners to end the "usurpation" of democracy in his country.

"You will leave the presidency stained with blood", Maduro said Sunday evening in an interview with the Spanish television station Sexta.

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez delivers a statement at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.

The US president has ruled out any negotiations while maintaining that sending the US military to Venezuela was "an option".

Last week, the EU's top diplomat sounded a warning about the outlook for Venezuela amid the political standoff in the country.

"The United States wants to return to the 20th century of military coups, subordinate puppet governments and the looting of resources", he said.

In an interview that aired Monday with Italy's Sky TG24 he said that he had written Pope Francis asking for help in fostering dialogue with the opposition.

"They are trying to corner us with ultimatums to force us into an extreme situation of confrontation", Maduro said. The European Union failed to jointly support the head of the National Assembly when countries including Italy vetoed a push to make that the position of the whole bloc. It aims to facilitate dialogue and is due to hold its first meeting in Uruguay on Thursday.

"I think we are at a very critical point in the history of Venezuela", said Alan Duncan, Britain's junior foreign minister, among a number of European representatives attending the Lima Group meeting. Guaido is an opposition leader who's the head of Venezuela's legislature.

Guaido lost no time Monday in building on broadened global support, with his fledgling alternative administration announcing February 14 talks in Washington on responding to "the largest hemispheric humanitarian crisis in modern history".

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