February 17, 2019

Italy blocks EU's bid to get tough on Venezuela

06 February 2019, 07:54 | Joann Bryant

Canada announces $53-million in aid for Venezuela and refugees

Nine EU states recognise Guaido as Venezuela's president, increasing pressure on Maduro

Nonetheless, Guterres said he was following the crisis in Venezuela "with a lot of concern". "We are prepared to work with the provisional government of Venezuela, the National Assembly and President Guaido".

Venezuela is the number one country in terms of reserves of crude oil; more than Saudi Arabia in fact, so perhaps the fact that countries like Canada, Britain, France and Spain recognise Juan Guaido as the interim president, is connected more to raw materials and economic factors, rather than anything connected to democracy or any subjective concept such as that.

In a statement following a meeting in Ottawa, they urged the global community to prevent Maduro's government from conducting financial and trade transactions overseas, having access to Venezuela's worldwide assets and doing business in oil, gold and other assets. Guaido urged Uruguay to prevent the move.

Trucks carrying food and medical supplies sent by the United States to be stockpiled until it can be brought into Venezuela will arrive later this week at Guaido's request and will be prepositioned at the main Colombian-Venezuelan border crossing at Cucuta, U.S. officials with knowledge of the plan said. "We will seek to help him to do so by whatever means possible", the official said.

Will humanitarian aid prove a desperately needed lifeline for Venezuelans or the next battleground of the standoff that's got the whole planet picking sides?

The members of the Lima Group - Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay and Peru - "reiterate their recognition and support for Juan Guaido as the Interim President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as per its Constitution". It also called on Venezuela's military to give their loyalty to the interim president. "We can not buy drugs in Venezuela, you die before you get them".

Russian Federation and China, who have poured billions of dollars of investment and loans into Venezuela, are supporting Mr Maduro in an extension of their geopolitical tussle with the United States. "We are not beggars". Subsequently, Guaido, on January 23, proclaimed himself to be the President, despite Maduro winning the presidential elections a year ago.

The top Japanese government spokesman also said, "It is regrettable that the Venezuelan government held an inauguration ceremony for its president without fulfilling its accountability (to the people)", swearing in Maduro for his second term last month after an election in May past year.

Maduro's government, overseeing an economic collapse that has prompted 3 million Venezuelans to flee the country, lashed out at the European Union nations, saying their move would affect relations with Caracas.

While many Venezuelans - including those who once supported Maduro's predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez - have taken to the streets to protest the regime, reports say most of the Venezuelan military appears to be sticking with Maduro.

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