United Kingdom and other European countries recognise Guaidó as Venezuela's leader
05 February, 2019, 04:56 | Author: Donnie King
"You are making mistakes that will leave your hands covered in blood and you will leave the presidency stained with blood", President Maduro said.
"We don't accept ultimatums from anyone", Maduro said in a defiant interview with Spanish television channel La Sexta carried out last week and broadcast on Sunday.
They join the U.S., Canada, Australia and a host of Latin American powers, including Brazil and Argentina.
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.
The majority of the member states have been critical of incumbent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim leader.
"The oppression of the illegitimate, kleptocratic Maduro regime must end".
The United States recognised Guaido, who heads Venezuela's National Assembly, in late January when he declared himself the country's legitimate leader after maintaining that a presidential election previous year was rigged to keep Maduro in power.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was another leading political figure to endorse Guaido as interim president, while also urging him to call an election in the near future.
Sanchez said he wanted Spain to spearhead a plan of humanitarian aid for Venezuela in the European Union and United Nations.
"Let's hope this takes us closer to ending humanitarian crisis". Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Poland and Portugal also lined up behind Guaido, who last month declared himself interim president with the support of the United States and many South American nations. Emmanuel Macron then repeated this later on Monday.
The political crisis in oil-rich Venezuela has provoked a worldwide split, with a USA -led group of countries that have already recognized Guaido as interim president pitted against nations such as Russian Federation and China that support Maduro.
Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have turned out in recent protests to demand Maduro's exit, although he appears to have the support of the nation's powerful military and security services. "I tend to be an optimist; in this case, I do not have particularly positive expectations", European Union foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters on Friday in Bucharest, as she announced the bloc could consider new sanctions against Maduro.
Maduro started a new term in office last month after 2018 elections that were branded invalid by the opposition.
The situation has always been denounced by the opposition and Guaido stunned the world on January 23 when he declared himself acting president at a rally, declaring Maduro's presidency "illegitimate" and founded on flawed elections.
A group of Latin American and European states are to hold their first meeting of a contact group in Montevideo on Thursday.
Maduro denies the existence of a humanitarian crisis, calling it a fabrication by Venezuela's enemies to sow instability and justify a military intervention.
President Maduro described a potential military confrontation with the United States as "David against Goliath" struggle - one that Trump would regret. Although Washington has broached the idea of an oil embargo on Venezuela, the Lima Group looked set to hold off imposing more sanctions, sources briefed on the matter said.
Trump warned that military intervention remains "an option" for dealing with the crisis in Venezuela.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido walks at the National Assembly before a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela February 4, 2019.
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. When that expired on Sunday, they announced the diplomatic change.
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