EU increases the pressure on Maduro – recognises Guaidó
Ten EU countries are increasing diplomatic pressure on Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro with the recognition of opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim President.
After Maduro declined to follow up on the demand from seven EU countries to announce elections by Sunday, France, Spain, the United Kingdom and Sweden made it public that they recognise Guaidó as acting President of Venezuela on Monday. Shortly after, Denmark, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany and Austria joined in.
The ten countries also demand that a presidential election must be held in Venezuela ASAP.
“The Venezuelans have the right to express themselves freely and democratically,” the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, tweets.
Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, calls Guaidó the «legitimate President of Venezuela».
The opposition leader has also received support from a number of Latin American countries.
According to US law professor Noah Feldman, Guaidó’s attempt to remove Maduro is contrary to the Venezuelan constitution.
Norway won’t recognize Guaidó
Norway keeps a more cautious line than its closest allies and won’t recognise opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, as the interim President of Venezuela.
“Norway has a tradition of recognising states, not governments, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide (Conservatives),” states.
She adds that Norway has always expressed support for Juan Guaidó as elected and legitimate leader of the National Assembly in Venezuela.
Norway does, however, not receive recognition as the acting President of Venezuela, despite the fact that important allies such as the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, as well as our neighbouring countries, Sweden and Denmark, have done so.
Guaidó proclaimed himself acting president of Venezuela nearly two weeks ago. But actually, it is still President Nicolás Maduro who still is in power.
Eriksen Søreide reiterates previous statements that Norway encourages the parties to dialogue that may lead to elections.
“We maintain the demand for respect for democratic rights and new elections. The situation in Venezuela is acute and we urge the parties to establish an inclusive political process that can lead to new elections. Norway has a dialogue with both parties and has offered them assistance to such a process if and when they so wish,” she stresses.
Guaidó, who is the leader of the Venezuelan National Assembly, proclaimed himself as President two weeks ago. He still has little real power and, apparently, support from the Armed Forces.
The US Government has recognized Guaidó as interim President and urged the Venezuelan military to turn against Maduro. US President Donald J. Trump has also imposed sanctions on Venezuelan state-owned oil companies. He further threatens to send American Forces to the country.
The UK is also considering imposing sanctions on Venezuela, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May informs.
Maduro, in turn, claims that the United States is preparing a coup d’etat in Venezuela. In an interview with the Italian television channel TG24, he informs that he has asked the Roman-Catholic Pope to initiate a dialogue with the opposition. He expresses the hope of a positive response from the Holy See.
In the interview, he also appeals to Europe not to «be enmeshed in the madness» of Trump. According to Maduro, Venezuela risks civil war unless the West halts its interference.
“Everything boils down to the degree of madness and aggression among the northern imperialists and their western allies, Maduro raged on Sunday,” with a clear reference to the United States.
Russia has condemned Western countries for untimely interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela.
“Such interference just gets in the way of a peaceful, effective and lasting solution to the crisis in Venezuela, spokesperson for the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov,” underlines.
Los Venezolanos tienen el derecho de expresarse libremente y democráticamente. Francia reconoce a @jguaido como "presidente encargado" para implementar un proceso electoral. Apoyamos al Grupo de contacto, creado con la UE, en este período de transición. https://t.co/7cgpdgz7TN— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) February 4, 2019
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today