Leaders of key European countries said they recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president Monday, after an ultimatum imposed on President Nicolás Maduro to call for new elections expired Sunday at midnight. The countries include France, Spain, Germany, Britain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Austria and the Netherlands. This is German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Chancellor Angela Merkel: “Juan Guaidó is the person we expect to initiate an election process as soon as possible. And Germany, along with several other European countries, recognizes him as the legitimate interim president to oversee this task.”
In Canada, members of the Lima Group issued a declaration of support for Juan Guaidó. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland highlighted that the group, however, does not support the use of force to remove Maduro’s government. Three members of the Lima Group—Guyana, Mexico and St. Lucia—did not support the declaration. Guaidó hailed the widespread recognition from international leaders Monday. He has called for more mass protests in Venezuela today. Meanwhile, the government of sitting President Nicolás Maduro remains defiant, with Maduro again saying he would not bow to any outside ultimatums. This is Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza.
Jorge Arreaza: “As they say in Spain, the European countries are following the United States right now. It is not the United States; it is the ruling elite, particularly Donald Trump, John Bolton, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo. … Donald Trump is such a despot, a racist, a supremacist, a discriminator, arrogant, so grandiose that he does not care about others. What he is is the expression of capitalism.”