The European Union is preparing an ultimatum to Venezuelan authorities

The European Union is preparing a joint statement calling for immediate elections in Venezuela in a crisis situation and the actual dual power. About approval of the unified EU position on the Venezuelan situation on Friday, 25 January, according to France-Presse sources in Brussels. A number of EU countries called for the recognition of the speaker of Parliament of Venezuela, Juan Guido acting President if elections will not be organized in the shortest possible time.

“We want the elections were announced immediately,” and appointed “in the near future,” said a diplomatic source AFP after a meeting of the 28 EU countries in Brussels. As the source noted, demanding to declare early elections, the Europeans “talk about days, not weeks”. New strong message to the incumbent President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro support Germany, France, UK and Spain, says France-Presse. Spain and Germany stand for a kind of ultimatum: if the new elections in Venezuela will not be declared in the shortest possible time, the EU can accept the legitimate head of state Parliament speaker Huang Guido.

Berlin and Madrid — the ultimatum

Germany and Spain took part on 25 January with strong statements. Berlin “the future of the European consultation in favour of the recognition of Huang Guido acting President (Venezuela) in that case, if free elections will be impossible to organize in the near future,” said the official representative of German Chancellor Steffen Seibert.

A similar statement was made by the Spanish foreign Minister Josep Borrell: “If the Venezuelan regime has no will to ad (new) elections, ( … ), we will consider the EU the introduction of other measures, including the recognition of a temporary acting President” Juan, Guido.

Wednesday amid mass protests against Nicolas Maduro speaker Juan Guido declared himself acting head of state. 35-year-old leader of the opposition has received official recognition from the United States, Canada, Brazil and several countries in Latin America. To support Maduro made by Russia and China, Cuba and Bolivia, Mexico and Turkey.

The EU, questioning the legitimacy of the re-election of Maduro as President in may 2018, urged the government and opposition to dialogue. On Wednesday, the head of EU diplomacy Federica Mogherini expressed “full support” of the Venezuelan Parliament as “a democratically elected institution” and called for “the immediate start of the political process” preparations for “free and credible elections.”

Paris supported the Parliament of Venezuela

“After the illegitimate elections of Nicolas Maduro (…) Europe supports the restoration of democracy. I applaud the bravery of hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans in favour of their freedom”, — said yesterday the President of France Emmanuel macron.

This Friday the Venezuelan authorities asked the French Minister of foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian: “We call on Mr Maduro to abandon all forms of repression of the opposition, from any use of violence against peaceful demonstrators”. “We intend to fully support the National Assembly of Venezuela and its President as the democratically elected institution, which therefore should play a role” in the state, said the head of French diplomacy.

Maduro and the military

In Venezuela this Friday, Nicolas Maduro, will speak to reporters. It is also expected the speech of the attorney-General Tarek William Saab. As reported by France-Presse, he may announce the beginning of a criminal investigation in respect of the Parliament on charges of “usurpation” of presidential power. In their actions the attorney General is guided by the relevant decision of the Supreme court, which is controlled by the opposition believes Maduro.

On Thursday, the Venezuelan leader has enlisted the support of the army. Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino on a press-conferences with participation of the high command declared their loyalty to the military Nicolas Maduro and commented on the “presidential oath”, which Joan Guido brought to the Constitution.

Vladimir Padrino: “We witnessed an event that is worthy of condemnation. The man proclaimed himself President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. This is a serious attack on the rule of law and peace for all Venezuelans. What we saw wasn’t normal. I warn the Venezuelan people that perpetrated the coup d’état against the institutions of government, against democracy, against our Constitution, against President Nicolas Maduro, against our legitimate President of the Republic of Venezuela. Armed forces loyal to the traditions of the liberator Simon Bolivar, will never recognize a President, imposed on us by someone’s dark interests, no self-proclaimed President outside the law. The army is also not subject to any foreign power or government, not democratically elected by the Venezuelan people”.

According to the Venezuelan human rights defenders, with the beginning of the week in clashes during protest demonstrations in the country killed at least 26 people. The UN high Commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet said that during this period under arrest was more than 350 opponents of Maduro. Specialist in Latin America Christophe Ventura, an employee of the Paris Institute of international and strategic relations IRIS in an interview with RFI noted the uncertainty of the situation in Venezuela.

Christophe Ventura: “the Situation is in limbo, and how it will evolve, we don’t know yet. The past two days were very different from each other. January 23, the events developed at an accelerated pace, and yesterday, the country entered into a lull. Perhaps this is the calm before the storm — we will see in the coming days. In any case, the opponents are entrenched in their positions and prepare for the next stage.”

The analyst notes the gradual transformation of the internal crisis in Venezuela, international.

Christophe Ventura: “This shows us that, in addition to domestic or Latin American crisis, the problem of Venezuela has become an international geopolitical problem. There is nothing particularly new. Activate unions, which have existed for several years. Venezuela is a crystallization point of tension in relations between the Latin American countries, as well as a point of confrontation between the leading powers, in particular USA, China and Russia. Natural oil resources of Venezuela are subject to conflicts of interest of all these countries”.

The U.S. decision to officially recognize the speaker of Parliament of Venezuela, the acting President, the political scientist believes too sudden.

Christophe Ventura: “what happened is only the development of the strategy, which was determined on 4 January in the so-called Declaration of the “group of Lima”. It brings together 14 countries of the American continent: Canada, Brazil, Peru, Chile and others. They do not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro — and not the last few weeks, and since August of 2017. They believe that Venezuela violated the constitutional order. That group of countries together with the USA (which are not included in it formally) agreed on a document that was prepared by the events of 23 January. They recognized the National Assembly as the exclusive legitimate authority in Venezuela and declared the illegitimacy of the Maduro government, supporting the allegation that he usurped power. Such positions in the internal politics of Venezuela takes a long time speaker Juan Guido. Had no choice but to declare it the new leader of Venezuela, supported by all signatories of the Declaration”.

In the open support of the USA and some Latin American countries, the analyst sees a risk for the Venezuelan opposition.

Christophe Ventura: “It’s a bet for the opposition in Venezuela. The intervention of Donald trump is fueling radicalism on all sides. It enhances the unity of chavistas, which has been damaged. Today they speak with one voice, supporting the legitimacy of Maduro. This intervention reinforces the radicalism on all sides. Someone thinks that he has a free hand to go on the offensive and violent action. Authorities believe the suppression of legitimate protest, the policy of hard hand. The intervention of Donald trump does not seem a definite advantage. Finally, with all the differences of Venezuelans share a common feeling: they don’t like that tramp to such an extent that demonstrates the importance and its effect on the person who calls himself “the second President””.
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