European Union powers recognize Guaido as Venezuelan leader, demand free and fair elections

UK recognises Juan Guaido as interim President of Venezuela

Netherlands recognises Guadio as Venezuelan leader after deadline expires

The U.K., Germany and France led a host of European countries in recognizing Venezuelan National Assembly leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim president on Monday, joining an global push led by the us censuring Nicolas Maduro and calling for new elections. "As we have seen with Venezuela, collective European Union positions can be blocked by one European Union member state, which all too often cripples our collective influence", he said.

"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".

Thousands of Venezuelans living in Argentina, opposed to President Nicolas Maduro, hold a demonstration in Buenos Aires in support of opposition leader Juan Guaido's self-appointment as acting president of Venezuela, on January 23, 2019.

"The Bolivarian republic of Venezuela expresses its most energetic rejection of the decision by some European governments, which officially submit to the strategy of the USA administration to topple the government", Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, tweeted.

France, Germany, Portugal, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and the Netherlands also recognized Guaido.

President Maduro, 56, a former union leader, bus driver and foreign minister, replaced ex-president Hugo Chavez in 2013 after his death from cancer.

United States leader Donald Trump will be responsible for a bloodbath that would mirror the war in Vietnam if he gets militarily involved in Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has warned, describing the potential conflict as a "David against Goliath" scenario. When that expired on Sunday, they announced the diplomatic change.

"Soldiers, we continue to wait for you".

The young lawmaker accused the military of planning to divert aid being stockpiled in Colombia, Brazil and an unidentified Caribbean island, in order to distribute it through the socialist government's subsidized food program for supporters.

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.

Venezuela's Guaido lays out broad vision for the country
Turkey, Russia and China opposed the USA call to support Guaido and condemned any worldwide interference in Venezuela's internal affairs.

In Washington, US President Donald Trump warned that military intervention remains "an option" for dealing with the crisis in Venezuela.

On Monday, Maduro said he had written to Pope Francis, urging him to play a mediating role.

Maduro flatly rejected the demands in an interview with Spanish television, insisting he would not "cave in to pressure".

But key Maduro ally Russian Federation slammed European "interference" in the oil-rich but impoverished Latin American country, saying it was an attempt "to legitimize usurped power".

At the news conference closing today's meeting in Ottawa of the Lima Group of nations, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the idea that opposition to Maduro is part of a coup plot organized by western democracies "could not be further from the truth".

"They use sledgehammers instead of boxing gloves", President Maduro said, accusing the USA of seeking his removal so that it could take control of Venezuela's vast oil reserves.

Spain is one of the main destinations for migrants from Venezuela, many of whom have fled Maduro's rule and the continuing humanitarian crisis.

Mr. Trudeau also took the opportunity to recognize Mr. Guaido's representative to Canada, Orlando Viera-Blanco.

But David Lipton, the No. 2 at the International Monetary Fund, called Venezuela's economic crisis - marked by widespread food shortages, protracted hyperinflation and the loss of human capital through emigration - an "unprecedented economic storm" that will required generous, broad-based international support to overcome.

On Monday, he accused Maduro of trying to illicitly transfer up to $1.2 billion from public coffers to a bank in Uruguay.

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