Europe Demands Free Elections In Venezuela As Pressure On Maduro Mounts

Sunday, January 27, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Sun, 01/27/2019

With the UK already refusing to return $1.2 billion on Venezuelan gold, the nations of Western Europe have just taken the next step toward ousting the Maduro regime: Four European governments – France, Germany, Spain and the UK – warned on Saturday that they would recognize Juan Guaido (the head of the Venezuelan assembly who earlier this week declared himself the country’s acting ruler until elections can be held) as Venezuela’s legitimate leader unless a date for new elections is called within eight days.

To be sure, the US and nearly two dozen other countries (including most of Latin America) has already taken this step. But the latest round of warnings came as the UN Security Council met on Saturday to discuss the situation in Venezuela, where Maduro’s regime is facing down the biggest threat to its rule since the socialist heir to Hugo Chavez first ascended to the presidency in 2013.

However, Russia and China – both of which are permanent members of the security council – have insisted that the West back off and refrain from intervening in Venezuelan affairs. A group of Kremlin-linked mercenaries have reportedly been dispatched to provide “security” for Maduro, according to the Washington Post.

European governments are citing Venezuelan’s election last year, where Maduro was elected to another six year term, as the reason for ratcheting up the pressure. They claim the Maduro regime’s crackdown on dissenting, including banning opposition candidates, as well as other irregularities, has placed the results in question.

Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s foreign minister, said as much in a tweet on Saturday.

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