Share

European nations recognize Guaido as Venezuelan leader

Share

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — More than a dozen European Union countries endorsed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president Monday, piling the pressure on embattled President Nicolas Maduro to resign and clear the way for a new presidential election.

Maduro stood defiant, rejecting a U.S offer of humanitarian aid that has shifted attention to Venezuela’s western border with Colombia, where opponents were gearing up to try to bring emergency food and medicine into the country.

“We are not beggars,” Maduro said in a speech to troops broadcast on Venezuelan state TV.

Spain, Germany, France and Britain delivered diplomatic blows to Maduro’s rule by publicly supporting Guaido after a Sunday deadline for Maduro to call a presidential election passed without action. Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Poland and Portugal also lined up behind Guaido, who last month declared himself interim president with the support of the United States and many Latin American nations.

In Canada’s capital, foreign ministers from the Lima Group of 13 Western Hemisphere countries that took the lead in recognizing Guaido as Venezuela’s rightful leader discussed additional steps to pressure Maduro.

Trending:
No Woke Agenda in Court: Rittenhouse Judge Says Rioters Can't Be Called 'Victims,' Approves This List Instead

Before the closed-door meeting got under way, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned a “dictatorship willing to use force and fear” to maintain its power. He also announced $53 million in humanitarian aid to support the Venezuelan people.

“We know that the people of Venezuela are facing tremendous hardship and they need our help, as do the countries that have taken in those fleeing violence,” Trudeau said.

The coalition called upon Venezuela’s military to allow badly needed food and medicine across the border and show their loyalty to Guaido. They also urged the United Nationa and the international community to step up with humanitarian assistance.

Maduro showed no signs of caving in and lashed out at the EU, accusing it of taking orders from the Trump administration, who he has repeatedly accused of trying to carry out a coup to get its hands on Venezuela’s oil reserves, the world’s largest.

But he stopped short of breaking off diplomatic relations with the 16 European countries that recognized his rival Monday, unlike his swift move to cut off ties with the U.S. after it threw its support behind Guaido last month. A growing list of 38 countries has now recognized Guaido, including non-EU European nations Kosovo, Iceland and Albania.

Long-time backers Russia and China are among at least nine nations that have declared their support for Maduro.

Maduro was especially harsh on fellow socialist and Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, saying he would have “blood on his hands” if Maduro is toppled.

“They gave us an ultimatum, as if Venezuela was being governed from Madrid,” said Maduro, who was addressing troops Monday on the 27th anniversary of the failed military uprising that thrust his political mentor, the late Hugo Chavez, onto the national stage.

Amid the rising pressure, Maduro has shown signs he’s willing to negotiate.

Related:
Loudoun County School Board Chairwoman Gaslights Parents About Critical Race Theory

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.

The Vatican didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Maduro’s appeal. Recently, while in Central America, Francis called for a “just and peaceful” solution to the crisis in Venezuela. But he didn’t say if the Holy See would recognize Guaido and said he had no business interfering in the crisis.

Some of the EU countries backing Guaido are part of a newly formed “International Contact Group” of eight European and four Latin American nations. It aims to facilitate dialogue and is due to hold its first meeting in Uruguay on Thursday.

Portugal’s Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said the group wants to end Venezuela’s political stalemate through the ballot box, preventing a civil war or an “illegitimate foreign intervention.”

Venezuela’s opposition has rejected any offers of dialogue that don’t include Maduro’s exit as a starting point.

Meanwhile, the opposition was moving ahead with a risky strategy to bring in humanitarian aid from Colombia , hoping to break the all-important military’s loyalty to Maduro.

“Soldiers of the fatherland: We need the humanitarian aid to come, for your mother, your sister and all your family,” Guaido said at a news conference at the National Assembly to thank the European governments for their support.

“Otherwise we are sentenced to death,” he said.

While U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said last week that boxes of USAID branded baby formula and supplies for malnourished children are being readied to deploy to Venezuela, it’s not clear how they can safely enter.

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.

Maduro denies the existence of a humanitarian crisis, calling it a fabrication by Venezuela’s enemies to sow instability and justify a military intervention.

But David Lipton, the No. 2 at the International Monetary Fund, called Venezuela’s economic crisis — marked by widespread food shortages, protracted hyperinflation and the loss of human capital through emigration — an “unprecedented economic storm” that will required generous, broad-based international support to overcome.

“We have seen versions of each,” Lipton said on Twitter, “but rarely a combination as severe at this.”

___

Associated Press writer Scott Smith reported this story in Caracas and AP writer Barry Hatton reported from Lisbon. AP writers Christine Armario in Cucuta, Colombia, and Tracey Lindeman in Ottawa, Canada, contributed to this report.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation

Notice: Due to threatened de-monetization, we have temporarily removed commenting while we build a long-term commenting solution that allows you to voice your opinion freely and allows us to continue to publish the news fearlessly and cover topics that you care about. If you would like to personally partner with The Western Journal to help us continue publishing while under relentless assault by Big Tech, please visit our subscription page here. We encourage you to share this article and discuss with your friends.