Russia: European recognition of Guaido foreign meddling in Venezuela

Russia has denounced coordinated attempts to “legitimize usurped power” in Venezuela after a number of European countries recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as “interim leader” of the Latin American country.

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that “attempts to legitimize usurped power” constituted “interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs.”

It is up to Venezuelans, not foreign states, to resolve their own political issues, Peskov added.

The European Union had set a deadline for the elected government of President Nicolas Maduro to hold an early presidential election after Guido declared himself “president” last month.

Maduro, however, rejected the ultimatum on Sunday, saying, “Venezuela has done all its elections.” He also warned that “nobody in the world can come and disavow our constitution and our institutions and try and impose ultimatums.”

As the deadline passed on Monday, several EU member states, including Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden and Austria, announced their recognition of Guaido as “acting president” of Venezuela.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said his government “officially recognizes Venezuela’s National Assembly president, Mr Guaido Marquez, as acting president of Venezuela.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Inter radio that “Guaido, whose legitimacy is perfectly acknowledged, has the ability to call for presidential elections.”

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt also took to Twitter, saying the government of Prime Minister Theresa May recognized Guido.

Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen said in tweet that his government recognized Guido as the “interim president” of Venezuela “until new free and democratic elections take place.”

“Applaud similar statements from key EU partners. Important EU statement coming up,” he said ahead of a meeting with EU counterparts in Brussels.

The US, along with a number of its Latin American allies, has already recognized Guaido as “president.”

Meanwhile, the UN and several countries, including Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and Syria as well as Bolivia said they would stand with the elected Venezuelan government.

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