Netherlands recognises Guadio as Venezuelan leader after deadline expires

Netherlands recognises Guadio as Venezuelan leader after deadline expires

Netherlands recognises Guadio as Venezuelan leader after deadline expires

Nine European nations have now joined the United States in recognising opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president, heightening a global showdown over President Nicolas Maduro's rule.

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

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

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. It is time for a new start, with free and fair elections in accordance with worldwide democratic standards.

"Individual EU Member States will acknowledge Mr. Juan Guaido, President of the National Assembly, as President ad interim of Venezuela", the proposed joint statement said, calling for "free, fair and democratic presidential elections".

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.

Theresa May spoke by phone with her Spanish counterpart Sanchez on Sunday about the situation in Venezuela, the Prime Minister's official spokesman told a media briefing in Westminster.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, speaking to France Inter Radio, appealed for an early presidential election that will ensure "the Venezuelan crisis ends peacefully".

The embattled Maduro, whose years in power have seen Venezuela sink into an economic crisis that the United Nations estimates has led as many as three million Venezuelans to flee the country and brought on widespread food shortages, has refused to step down despite accusations that his country's most recent election was rigged.

The Lima Group is a bloc of regional countries that recognize Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president.

Guaido says up to 300,000 people are "at risk of death" in Venezuela for want of humanitarian assistance.

The EU nations had attempted to pressure Mr.

"I call on the Venezuelan people to sign ... at all the barracks, factories, schools", Maduro said.

"We don't accept ultimatums from anyone", Maduro said in a defiant interview with Spanish television channel La Sexta carried out last week and broadcast on Sunday. "Why should the European Union be giving ultimatums to a country?"

"We think that imposing some kind of decisions or trying to legitimise an attempt to usurp power is both direct and indirect interference in Venezuela's internal affairs", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

In an interview with Spanish journalist Jordi Évole, Venezuela's president cited the Bible and past U.S. military debacles in an attempt to dissuade Washington from taking military action against Caracas. "I tend to be an optimist; in this case, I do not have particularly positive expectations", European Union foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters on Friday in Bucharest, as she announced the bloc could consider new sanctions against Maduro. Recently, while in Central America, Francis called for a "just and peaceful" solution to the crisis in Venezuela.

Maduro accused Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, of having taken "a awful decision" in recognising Guaido.

"I sent a letter to Pope Francis", Maduro told Italy's SkyTG24 television in an interview broadcast on Monday, with opposition leader Juan Guaido gaining more worldwide support.

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