Eight European nations joined the U.S. in recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president on Monday.
Image: Juan Guaido
The UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Austria and Germany’s coordinated move came after the expiry of an eight-day deadline set last weekend for Maduro to call a new election.
“Nicolas Maduro has not called presidential elections within 8 day limit we have set,” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter.
“UK alongside European allies now recognizes Guaido as interim constitutional president until credible elections can be held,” Hunt also said on Twitter
Denmark recognizes Guaido as interim president of Venezuela, Anders Samuelsen tweeted ahead of a meeting with EU counterparts in Brussels.
“Denmark recognizes the President of the National Assembly… until new free and democratic elections take place,” he said. “Applaud similar statements from key EU partners. Important EU statement coming up.”
Germany joined several other European countries in recognizing Venezuela’s opposition chief Juan Guaido as interim leader after President Nicolas Maduro rejected their ultimatum to announce new presidential elections.
Earlier on the same day, Spain and France also made the same announcement.
Russia and China said, “We oppose foreign interference in Venezuela.” Kremlin on Monday slammed the European countries‘ decision, calling the move “foreign meddling” in Venezuela’s domestic affairs.
“Attempts to legitimize usurped power” constituted “interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. Such interference, he added, could not facilitate the “peaceful, effective and lasting settlement of the crisis the Venezuelans are going through.”
Peskov reiterated Moscow’s position that only the people of Venezuela could solve the crisis “which they should get through on their own.”
Earlier, the Chinese authorities made similar responses. “China always maintains the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, opposing interference in Venezuelan domestic affairs and calling for international society to create favorable conditions for the peaceful dialogue,” Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a regular press briefing on Thursday.
On Saturday, Maduro proposed early parliamentary elections.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang stressed that China’s cooperation with Venezuela is based on the principles of equality, mutual benefit, and joint development, when asked if China would be “worried” that Venezuela cannot pay back its debt.
“We believe that however the situation develops or changes, cooperation between China and Venezuela will not be damaged,” he added.