Paris: France issued an ultimatum to embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, stating that it would recognise opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim President if fresh Presidential elections are not announced by Sunday night.
“If by tonight, Maduro does not commit to organising Presidential elections, then France will consider Juan Guaido as legitimate to organise them in his place and we will consider him as the interim President until legitimate elections in Venezuela (take place),” Al Jazeera quoted France’s European affairs minister, Nathalie Loiseau, as telling local media.
Loiseau further slammed Maduro’s call for fresh parliamentary elections – held to appoint leaders to the National Assembly – labelling it as a “farce”.
Guaido proclaimed himself as the President of Venezuela on January 23 amid cheering protesters who had gathered after the National Assembly called for protests against the Maduro regime in Venezuela. The USA immediately extended its support for Guaido, followed by nations like Brazil, Colombia, Canada, etc.
However, China and Russia have slammed foreign interference in Caracas’ internal affairs, extending their support to Maduro.
The United Nations (UN) estimates that 40 people have died in the protests which have gripped Venezuela. Furthermore, the UN Human Rights Council put forth that 850 people have been detained by Venezuelan authorities since January 23, according to CNN.
Meanwhile, fresh protests jolted Venezuela on Wednesday and Saturday, where protesters, supporting Guaido on side and Maduro on the other, took out parallel demonstrations.