Published: Mon, February 04, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Netherlands recognises Guadio as Venezuelan leader after deadline expires

Netherlands recognises Guadio as Venezuelan leader after deadline expires

Guaido's backers say he is the legitimate leader because he is president of Venezuela's congress, which they regard as the only lawfully elected power in the country.

Maduro, for his part, stood defiant, accusing the United States of preparing a coup in the South American country and rejecting a USA -backed effort to send emergency food and medicine into his country. "You will leave the presidency stained with blood", Maduro said Sunday evening in an interview with the Spanish television station Sexta.

Guaido called for immediate free elections and urged increase pressure from global allies.

"I told him that I serve Christ's cause... and in this spirit I asked for his help, in a process of facilitating and strengthening dialogue", said Maduro, who has rejected calls for snap presidential elections.

Subsequently, Venezuela's incumbent President Nicolas Maduro blasted these actions as an attempted coup and said he was cutting diplomatic ties with the United States.

Guaido, who leads the coalition of opposition parties with control of Venezuela's National Assembly, declared himself interim president last month after Maduro was sworn in for a second term widely condemned as illegitimate due to a lack of free elections the previous year.

In an interview with Corriere Della Sera newspaper on Monday, Mr Guaido said he "will do whatever it takes" to persuade Italy to join the position of other European Union nations.

Mr Guaido, who leads the National Assembly, declared himself caretaker leader last month in a move splitting worldwide powers and bringing Venezuelans onto the streets.

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Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro warned US President Donald Trump he risked having "a repeat of Vietnam in Latin America" if he sent US troops to help settle a political crisis in the country.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted out his support Monday saying France recognizes Guaido as Venezuela's "president in charge" and said "Venezuelans have the right to express themselves freely and democratically".

The embattled Maduro, whose years in power have seen Venezuela sink into an economic crisis that the United Nations estimates has led as many as three million Venezuelans to flee the country and brought on widespread food shortages, has refused to step down despite accusations that his country's most recent election was rigged.

The United States also wants Maduro gone. Maduro said in an interview with Italy's Sky TG24 that he hopes the letter is in route or has reached the Vatican.

"We think that imposing some kind of decisions or trying to legitimise an attempt to usurp power is both direct and indirect interference in Venezuela's internal affairs", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez steps out of the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, September 12, 2018.

Guaido on Twitter expressed his gratitude to the European Union leaders for supporting Venezuela's fight for freedom.

A group of Latin American and European states are to hold their first meeting of a contact group in Montevideo on Thursday.

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