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EU Parliament backs Venezuela's Guaido

January 31, 2019

The European Parliament has urged EU member states to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as acting president. The EU has so far said it will take "further actions" if Venezuela does not hold fresh elections.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido
Image: Reuters/C.G. Rawlins

The European Parliament on Thursday voted to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's acting president and encouraged the European Union to do the same. 

Read more: Venezuela's political crisis: How did we get here?

The motion urged the EU to accept Guaido as "the only legitimate interim president of the country until new free, transparent and credible presidential elections can be called in order to restore democracy."

It does not change EU policy but adds to calls for the EU executive and its member states to join the United States, Canada and Brazil in backing Guaido.

Read more: Who backs Maduro, who backs Guaido?

Global political crisis

The EU has not officially backed Guaido but has said it would recognize him as interim president if Venezuela did not hold fresh presidential elections.

Germany, Spain and France were stronger in their response: on January 26, they gave Venezuela eight days to call new elections before they back Guaido.

Guaido declared himself interim president last week, sparking a political crisis in Venezuela.

It has seen the world become divided into two sides — one that backs Guaido and one that supports President Nicolas Maduro.

Thirteen of the 14 Lima Group of Latin American countries, along with Canada, Israel and Australia, have backed Guaido. Cuba, Bolivia, Mexico, Russia, Turkey and China support Maduro.

Thousands of Venezuelans took to streets across the country on Wednesday in support of Guaido and demanded Maduro step down.

law/cmk (AFP, Reuters)