EU nations back Venezuela's Guaido as Maduro faces rising pressure

EU nations back Venezuela's Guaido as Maduro faces rising pressure

The United States, Canada and several Latin American countries have disavowed Maduro over his disputed re-election previous year and recognized self-proclaimed President Juan Guaido as the country's rightful leader.

At present the U.S. has mobilised food supplies, while Germany has earmarked 5 million euros ($7.9 million) in aid and Spain has announced a humanitarian plan with the European Union and UN.

In a video statement posted on Twitter, Sanchez recognised Guaido as interim leader and called for new elections "as soon as possible".

"We are working for the return of full democracy in Venezuela: human rights, elections, and no more political prisoners", Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a televised announcement.

"I call on the Venezuelan people to sign ... at all the barracks, factories, schools", Maduro said. Madrid was among those to endorse Guaido as the "legitimate leader" of Venezuela.

"Venezuelan people deserve a better future".

"We are looking at what further steps we can take to ensure peace and democracy in Venezuela including through sanctions", the spokesman added. We did not participate, none of us, at the inauguration of Maduro on January 10.

Australia, Canada and Israel are among other countries to recognize him.

Yesterday, Guaido urged Western leaders to continue pressure on Maduro.

Canada and its Latin American allies in the Lima Group, along with the United States, have been pushing for Maduro's departure.


However, she said that later a group of European countries would release a joint statement calling for snap elections in Venezuela and to recognise the president of the National Assembly as the interim president.

The Government, it said, will "completely revise bilateral relations with those countries from now on".

The arrival of 400 Russian military contractors after Mr. Trump's January 23 recognition of Mr. Guaido, the head of the National Assembly, triggered speculation that Moscow was reinforcing Mr. Maduro's personal security or even preparing his evacuation.

"The coward government of Spain has made a bad decision in the history of relations between Spain and Venezuela". You are making mistakes that will leave your hands covered in blood.

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.

However, Maduro is not showing any signs of caving, even as he grows more isolated internationally and lashes out at the European Union and the Trump administration, which has imposed billions in sanctions on Venezuela's oil exports and demanded Maduro's departure.

"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.

The coordinated move to recognize Guaido by France, Spain, Germany, Britain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Luxembourg comes after the expiry of an eight-day ultimatum for Maduro to call a new election.

He added: "No, global politics can't be based on ultimatums. 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.

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

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