European Union nations recognise Guaido as Venezuela leader

UK recognises Juan Guaido as interim President of Venezuela

UK recognises Juan Guaido as interim President of Venezuela

"The United Kingdom now recognises Juan Guaido as the constitutional interim President of Venezuela, until credible presidential elections can be held".

Italy, however, blocked a joint European Union position to recognise Guaido as interim president, diplomatic sources said, with the government in Rome deeply divided over the issue.

"From today, we will spare no effort in helping all Venezuelans achieve freedom, prosperity and harmony", Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said, urging both fair elections and humanitarian aid.

Meanwhile, in Canada, foreign ministers from Western hemisphere nations belonging to the Lima Group, which includes 13 countries that took the lead in recognizing Guaido as Venezuela's rightful leader, gathered in Ottawa to discuss additional steps to pressure Maduro.

"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.

But he stopped short of breaking off diplomatic relations with the 16 European countries that recognized his rival Monday, unlike his swift move to cut off ties with the US after it threw its support behind Guaido last month.

Maduro, who has overseen an economic collapse and the exodus of millions of Venezuelans, maintains the backing of Russia, China and Turkey, and the critical support of the military. "Attempts to legitimize usurped power" constituted "interference in Venezuela's internal affairs", President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Long-time backers Russian Federation and China are among at least nine nations that have declared their support for Maduro.

"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.

What started as a trickle has turned into a flow of European Union countries who have now officially declared Guaido as interim president.




Maduro has offered to call parliamentary elections; however, Le Drian insisted that only a presidential election could end the crisis "because it's a presidential regime" in Venezuela.

But in an interview with Spanish television station Sexta broadcast on Sunday evening, Maduro said he would not "cave in to pressure" from those calling for his departure.

"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.

Mr. Guaido is in a leadership showdown with socialist President Nicolas Maduro, whose regime has been accused of crimes against humanity, including ordering the military to commit extrajudicial killings and use excessive force against protesters.

Moscow - which among others back the Maduro government - stated that such action clearly amounts to foreign meddling.

All eyes are now on Venezuela's military, which has so far been Maduro's main pillar of support, but there have been signs of wavering in the ranks. Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Finland, the Czech Republic and Portugal also lined up behind Guaido, the self-declared interim president who also has the support of the United States and many South American nations. The European Parliament has called on all EU countries to do so.

He noted that "free peoples and governments" demanded dialogue for peace in Venezuela.

He added: "No, global politics can't be based on ultimatums".

Maduro also claimed that "the military option is on Donald Trump's table".

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