EU countries recognize putschist Guaido as president
France, Spain, Germany, Britain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Austria and the Netherlands’ coordinated move came after the expiry of an eight-day ultimatum for Maduro to call a new election.
"WE ARE WITH VENEZUELA AGAINST MADURO"
Juan Guaido, who leads the National Assembly, declared himself as interim leader last month in a move splitting international powers and bringing Venezuelans onto the streets.
Russia and China, who have poured billions of dollars of investment and loans into Venezuela, are supporting Maduro in an extension of their geopolitical tussle with the United States.
“From today, we will spare no effort in helping all Venezuelans achieve freedom, prosperity and harmony,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said, urging both fair elections and humanitarian aid.
“MADURO REGIME MUST END”
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Venezuelans had suffered enough. “The oppression of the illegitimate, kleptocratic Maduro regime must end,” he said.
Russia, on the other hand, accused European nations of foreign meddling. “We think that imposing some kind of decisions or trying to legitimize an attempt to usurp power is both direct and indirect interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Italy’s 5-Star Movement, which makes up half of the ruling coalition, dissented from the European stance, saying it would never recognize self-appointed leaders. “Handing out ultimatums, sanctions, freezing Venezuelan goods ... It would mean opening the road to a military intervention,” Alessandro Di Battista, a prominent 5-Star figure, said on Sunday.
But its governing partner, the League, has backed Guaido. “I’m with the Venezuelan people against regimes like that of Maduro, based on violence, fear and hunger,” League leader, Matteo Salvini, said last month.