United Nations will not join any group on Venezuela crisis talks: Guterres

United Nations will not join any group on Venezuela crisis talks: Guterres

Kerry Wise
February 5, 2019

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

Maduro's critics have said incompetent policies and corruption have impoverished the once-wealthy nation, leaving it with widespread shortages of food and medicine and hyperinflation forecast to reach 10 million percent in 2019.

The US president has ruled out any negotiations while maintaining that sending the US military to Venezuela was "an option".

European Union states have been debating for days how to address the Venezuela crisis, with ten countries recognising the opposition leader after the expiry of a deadline for President Nicolas Maduro to call a new election.

Spain has strong links to Venezuela historically, culturally and economically, meaning their government's endorsement of Guaido will be a significant blow to Maduro.

"As of yesterday, no presidential election had been called", Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit to Tokyo.

"We must all stick together and speak as one until such time as the former President Maduro has stood down and allowed fresh, properly conducted free and fair democratic elections to take place", Duncan added.

Italy is not alone in opposing recognising Guaido.

Mr. Trudeau said the bulk of the funding will go to "trusted" organizations on the ground in Venezuela and neighbouring countries to help support them as they handle the influx of refugees.

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Venezuelan opposition leader looking to challenge President Maduro's blockage of humanitarian aide; Steve Harrigan reports from Caracas. Maduro told Italian television Sunday. The European Parliament has called on all EU countries to do so.

World powers are taking sides in the deadly struggle to lead Venezuela, which has pitted some Western nations against Russia, China and others.

During a lengthy interview, Maduro touched on several topics including urging U.S. President Donald Trump to "stop" interfering otherwise his "mistakes are going to stain your hands with blood".

"The United States wants to return to the 20th century of military coups, subordinate puppet governments and the looting of resources", Maduro said.

In response to the coordinated announcement this morning, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "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". Recently, while in Central America, Francis called for a "just and peaceful" solution to the crisis in Venezuela.

Here is a summary of whom key players are backing, after Guaido declared himself acting president on January 23 in defiance of the leftist Maduro. It aims to facilitate dialogue and is due to hold its first meeting in Uruguay on Thursday.

"I swear ... that I will defend with my life this fatherland under threat", Maduro said at an event in Aragua state in the north, commemorating the 27th anniversary of a failed coup by his late predecessor Hugo Chavez.

Two opposition rivals with a good chance of winning were barred from standing, while food handouts and other subsidies to hungry Venezuelans were linked with political support.