EU parliament recognises Guaido as interim president | The Daily Star
12:29 AM, February 01, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:32 AM, February 01, 2019

POWER STRUGGLE IN VENEZUELA

EU parliament recognises Guaido as interim president

The European Parliament recognised Venezuela's self-declared interim president Juan Guaido as de facto head of state yesterday, heightening international pressure on the OPEC member's socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

EU lawmakers voted 429 in favour to 104 against, with 88 abstentions, at a special session in Brussels to recognise Venezuelan congress head Guaido as interim leader.

In a statement with the non-binding vote, the parliament urged the bloc's 28 governments to follow suit and consider Guaido "the only legitimate interim president" until there were "new free, transparent and credible presidential elections".

The United States and most Latin American nations have recognised Guaido.

Britain, France, Germany and Spain said on Saturday, however, that they would recognise Guaido unless Maduro called elections within eight days. But the EU has a whole has not set a time limit in its call for a new presidential vote.

Maduro has dismissed the demands as an unacceptable ultimatum from the corrupt elite of spent colonial powers.

Yesterday, the Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists said seven foreign journalists were detained in Venezuela, including French and Spanish reporters. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called for their release.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who spoke to Guaido by telephone on Wednesday, said the bloc should consider more asset freezes and travel bans on Venezuelan officials, but not the whole country.

Earlier, Trump reiterated strong US support for Venezuela's opposition.

"Large protests all across Venezuela today against Maduro. The fight for freedom has begun!" Trump tweeted.

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