European nations back Venezuelan opposition leader

European nations back Venezuelan opposition leader

Last week, Canada joined the United States and other Lima Group partners in recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido, who recently swore himself as the interim president of Venezuela.

"The imposition of any solutions or the attempt to legitimize the attempt of the power usurpation is, in our viewpoint, the direct and indirect interference in Venezuela's internal affairs".

Last week, several European Union nations gave Maduro an eight-day deadline to announce new elections or they would recognise Guaido as the country's leader.

"As of yesterday, no presidential election had been called", Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit to Tokyo. A growing list of 38 countries has now recognized Guaido, including non-EU European nations Kosovo, Iceland and Albania.

"I've turned it down because we're very far along in the process", he said in a "Face the Nation" interview.

The European countries are urging Guaido to hold free and fair elections as soon as possible.

He added that Venezuela is being "threatened by the biggest powers in the world".

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Venezuelans had suffered enough.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Canada's largest union - the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and the Canadian Labour Congress have expressed varying degrees of concern over Canada's move to recognize Guaido as interim president.

U.S. President Donald Trump said military intervention in Venezuela was "an option" as Western nations boost pressure on socialist leader Nicolas Maduro to step down, while the troubled OPEC nation's ally Russian Federation warned against "destructive meddling".

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"I don't accept ultimatums from anybody", Maduro told Spanish TV channel La Sexta in an interview broadcast late Sunday. "With ministers Néstor Ruiz Reverol and Aristóbulo Istúriz [minister of Education and vice president for social affairs], we said goodbye to the crew".

"We are faced with arbitrary rule, without respect for the guarantees laid down in the Constitution or the highest principles of the dignity of the people", they said.

The Trump administration last week issued crippling sanctions on Venezuelan state-owned oil firm PDVSA, a key source of revenue for the country, which is experiencing medicine shortages and malnutrition.

The situation has always been denounced by the opposition and Guaido stunned the world on January 23 when he declared himself acting president at a rally, declaring Maduro's presidency "illegitimate" and founded on flawed elections.

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

"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.

In Washington, US President Donald Trump warned that military intervention remains "an option" for dealing with the crisis in Venezuela. Guaido repeatedly has called on Venezuela's military, which has remained loyal to Maduro, to support a transition to democracy.

Tens of thousands of people turned out Saturday for competing shows of support for Guaido and for Maduro who was sworn in on January 10 to a disputed second six-year term.

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.

Speaking at a pro-regime demonstration marking 20 years since his predecessor Hugo Chavez came to power, Maduro reiterated his call to bring forward elections for the opposition-held national assembly.

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