United Nations will not join any group on Venezuela crisis talks: Guterres

UK recognises Juan Guaido as interim President of Venezuela

UK recognises Juan Guaido as interim President of Venezuela

Ten European countries, including the United Kingdom, recognised opposition leader Juan Guaido's attempt to seize power in Venezuela on Monday, joining the United States, Canada, and USA allies in Latin America in calling for democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro to step down.

Spain, Britain and France were among 16 European Union nations to side with Guaido on Monday, following in the footsteps of key regional powers and the United States which has refused to rule out a military intervention in the crisis-wracked country.

"The imposition of any solutions or the attempt to legitimize the attempt of the power usurpation is, in our viewpoint, the direct and indirect interference in Venezuela's internal affairs".

Italy does not recognize the result of Venezuela's presidential election last May, which Maduro won, and wants new elections as soon as possible, Italy's foreign minister told Agence France-Presse on Monday.

They backed his argument that, as leader of the national assembly, he should take control because the presidency was left "vacant", due to 56-year-old Mr Maduro's sham re-election.

Meanwhile Guaido, already recognized by the US, Canada, Australia and several Latin American countries, said he would soon lobby the European Union for badly-needed humanitarian and economic aid. The two men called for the organization of a "free and fair" presidential election in Venezuela and reaffirmed the "illegitimacy" of Maduro's presidency.

Guaido is expected to announce a date for the arrival of humanitarian aid from the USA - a path Maduro believes will lead to a US-led military intervention.

Maduro, for his part, stood defiant, accusing the United States of preparing a coup in the South American country and rejecting a US -backed effort to send emergency food and medicine into his country.

Germany, France and Britain to set up European transactions channel with Iran
The new entity acts as a sort of euro-denominated clearing house for Iran to conduct trade with European companies. A group of protesters chant slogans at the main gate of old grand bazaar in Tehran, Iran, Monday, June 25, 2018.

He began to exercise authority for the first time this weekend, calling on the army to allow in humanitarian aid to a nation wracked by economic crisis.

Guaido appealed to the military's "conscience" to let the aid reach those most in need. A senior air force general recognized Guaido as president on February 2. Trump said on Sunday, February 3, that the U.S. army's intervention in Venezuela was "an option". Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and Lithuania also lined up behind Guaido, who also has the backing of the United States and many South American nations. The European Parliament has called on all EU countries to do so.

They also urged Venezuela's military to support opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president and "not to impede the entry and transit of humanitarian assistance to Venezuelans". "I hope we will have a positive answer [from him]", Maduro told Italian news channel SkyTg24.

The 14-nation so-called Lima Group, which includes Canada and Latin American countries such as Brazil and Mexico but not the United States, met in Ottawa to discuss the way forward on Venezuela. But he didn't say if the Holy See would recognize Guaido and said he had no business interfering in the crisis.

"The worldwide community's goal should be to help (Venezuela), without destructive meddling from beyond its borders", Alexander Shchetinin, head of the Latin America department at Russia's Foreign Ministry, told Interfax. We did not participate, none of us, at the inauguration of Maduro on January 10.

Mrs May yesterday called for an immediate end to Maduro's regime, which has led to crippling food and water shortages and hyperinflation of 1.3million per cent.

On Monday, oil prices rose to their highest level yet this year on European markets on the back of the crisis in Venezuela.

Forty people were killed in clashes with security forces in the week of protests coinciding with Guaido's self-proclamation as acting leader, with hundreds more arrested, according to the United Nations.

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