Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has confirmed that the UK have joined other European leaders and the United States government in recognising Juan Guaido as the interim President of Venezuela.
On 26th January, Hunt called for Nicolas Maduro to call a presidential election within eight days, or the UK would recognise National Assembly President, Juan Guaido, as the interim President of Venezuela, in line with the Venezuelan constitution.
Maduro is yet to call elections, and Hunt has said that it is now time for the Venezuelan suffering to stop. He called the Muduro regime “illegitimate” after human rights violations against the Venezuelan people.
“The United Kingdom now recognises Juan Guaido as the constitutional interim President of Venezuela, until credible presidential elections can be held. The people of Venezuela have suffered enough. It is time for a new start, with free and fair elections in accordance with international democratic standards.
“The oppression of the illegitimate, kleptocratic Maduro regime must end. Those who continue to violate the human rights of ordinary Venezuelans under an illegitimate regime will be called to account. The Venezuelan people deserve a better future.”Jeremy Hunt
The UK now stand alongside European partners such as France whose President Emmanuel Macron said that Venezuelans had the right to “express themselves freely and democratically” in his call for a Presidential election in the country.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference in Tokyo that EU countries expected Mr Guaidó to initiate a swift election process. While, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Venezuela “should be the author of its own destiny.”
However, Russia, who support the Maduro government have accused EU countries of getting too involved with Venezuelan affairs.
Maduro himself is rejecting calls to step down, and has said that he cannot rule out the possibility of a civil war. He also attacked US President Donald Trump, who has also supported Guaido, saying that he would leave the White House “stained with blood” if he intervened militarily in the crisis.
Trump told US broadcaster CBS that the use of military force in the country remains “an option”.
Responding to the EU’s deadline of holding an election, he said that he did not respond to ultimatums.
“We don’t accept ultimatums from anyone. It’s like if I told the European Union: ‘I give you seven days to recognise the Republic of Catalonia, and if you don’t, we are going to take measures’.
“No, international politics can’t be based on ultimatums. That was the era of empires and colonies.”Nicolas Maduro