Washington: A press statement from the US State Department welcomed the decision to recognise Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s Interim President by several European countries.
“We welcome the decision today by Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom to recognize Juan Guaido as the Interim President of Venezuela,” US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo said in the press statement.
“We are also heartened by the European Parliament’s January 31 resolution recognizing Juan Guaido as Interim President. They join the United States and more than 23 other countries in recognizing Juan Guaido as Interim President, in accordance with Venezuela’s constitution,” he added.
Encouraging all the other countries, including other EU member states to support the Venezuelan people by recognising Interim President Guaido, Pompeo urged the countries to support the National Assembly’s efforts to return constitutional democracy to Venezuela.
“We repeat our call to the Venezuelan military and security forces to support their country’s constitution and protect all Venezuelan citizens, including Interim President Guaido and his family, as well as the US and other foreign citizens in Venezuela,” Pompeo reiterated.
The ongoing political turmoil in the country began after opposition candidate and National Assembly leader Juan Guaido declared himself to be interim head of the country. Many countries, especially the European Union have demanded that Nicolas Maduro calls for early re-election in the country; or in either case, Guaido would be declared the legitimate head of the state.
The European countries’ declaration comes after their eight-day ultimatum to Maduro for holding fresh Presidential elections in Venezuela expired on Sunday. The nations join the United States in pushing for a change of regime in Venezuela, which is currently seeing an acute shortage of medicines and hyperinflation despite being an oil-rich country.
Maduro has refused to step down from his post as President, despite repeated calls for his resignation. On January 23, Guaido proclaimed himself to be the President amidst a cheering crowd of protesters. The United States was the first to recognise Guaido as President and has also promised humanitarian aid to the nation. The countries have also repeatedly asked Venezuela’s military to pledge their allegiance to Guaido.
Countries like Russia and China, however, have slammed foreign interference in Venezuela’s internal matters and have supported Maduro as the President.