Venezuela crisis: European states recognise Guaidó as president - Whisper Eye

Venezuela crisis: European states recognise Guaidó as president

The UK, France, Germany, Spain and other European countries have officially recognised opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela.

It comes after President Nicolás Maduro defiantly rejected a deadline they set for Sunday to call fresh elections.

Mr Guaidó declared himself interim leader last month and won US backing.

Russia – a backer of Mr Maduro – accused EU countries of meddling in Venezuela’s affairs.

On Sunday Mr Maduro dismissed calls for a new presidential vote, saying he would not accept “ultimatums”. He has denounced Mr Guaidó’s move as a coup.

As head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, Mr Guaidó says the constitution allows him to assume power temporarily when the president is deemed illegitimate.

After Sunday’s deadline passed, a flurry of statements was issued by France, the UK, Germany and Spain and the other countries that now recognise Mr Guaidó as interim president.

Many of them pressed Mr Maduro to call new elections.

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Venezuela “should be the author of its own destiny”.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s official spokesman said that “further steps” were being considered, including the use of sanctions, without outlining what form any possible sanctions might take.

While a majority of EU members back Mr Guaidó, others such as Greece and Ireland called for fresh elections but stopped short of recognising him.