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

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

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

In Europe, undeniably the most outspoken political leader against Maduro was Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Some EU members are nervous about setting a precedent of recognising a self-proclaimed leader.

The U.K., Germany and France led a host of European countries in recognizing Venezuelan National Assembly leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim president on Monday, joining an global push led by the us censuring Nicolas Maduro and calling for new elections.

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

Guaido has won backing from the United States, European powers including France, Germany and Spain, Canada, Australia and a dozen Latin American countries to take over the leadership, but Russian Federation and China continue to support Maduro. Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and Lithuania also lined up behind Guaido, who also has the backing of the United States and many South American nations.

"Faced with President Maduro's refusal to organize presidential elections which would clarify, calm the situation in Venezuela. we consider that Mr. Guaido has the capacity and legitimacy to organize these elections".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland branded the Maduro government a dictatorship that has shown an inexcusable disregard for the rule of law and human rights.

Around 1 million people resident in Venezuela also possess a European passport, Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva told a news conference in Lisbon.

Mogherini added it was not up to the European Union to recognise countries and their leaders, as it is a matter for European Union countries to decide whether they should diplomatically recognise a nation and its leaders.

Long-time backers Russian Federation and China are among at least nine nations that have declared their support for Maduro. "They are willing to collaborate and I am sure that this will be one of the most important events, topics, elements in order to accomplish a way out in Venezuela", said Viera-Blanco, who has become the de-facto ambassador to Canada of Venezuela's interim government - whose authority Maduro rejects.

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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. "That is why it is time to increase pressure", Guaido said through an interpreter, his enlarged image hovering over the gathering on a movie-theatre-sized screen.

In his interview Monday, he supported plans for a meeting of Latin American and European Union states in a "Contact Group" in Montevideo on Thursday, saying it would lead to "dialogue". It aims to address the crisis in Venezuela 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.

Over the weekend, he called on the army to allow in humanitarian aid from the United States via neighboring Colombia and Brazil.

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

"Otherwise we are sentenced to death", he said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross is among the groups who have warned about the dangers of deploying aid without the consent of the Maduro government, which has repeatedly rejected the offers.

Such intervention "does not contribute in any way to a peaceful, effective and vital settlement to the crisis that Venezuelans are enduring", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.

Under Maduro's stewardship, oil-dependent Venezuela has lurched into an economic crisis that has left the country suffering from hyperinflation and shortages of food and medicine.

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