Venezuela slams EU countries for siding with US

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro gives a speech during the presidential inauguration ceremony in Caracas, Venezuela, on January 10. Xinhua

CARACAS (Xinhua) – Venezuela’s foreign ministry rejected on Monday several European countries’ decision to recognise opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president.

 Those countries “are officially adopting the strategy of the US administration to overthrow the legitimate government of President Nicolas Maduro,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

Such a decision “is in open violation of the principles and practices that govern diplomatic ties, setting a dangerous precedent for peaceful coexistence between nations,”said the ministry.

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Venezuela said it will review its bilateral ties with those countries until there is a “rectification that discards their support for the coup plans.”

“The degree of subordination” the European countries are showing to Washington “is alarming”, the ministry said.

It warned that Washington’s backing of the opposition leader threatens “the peace and stability of the entire region.”

Germany, Spain, France, Britain and Sweden are among the European countries that decided Monday to endorse Mr Guaido and his call for a new round of presidential race in the country.

The countries had earlier given Mr Maduro an “ultimatum” to call for elections.

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Political tensions in Venezuela between the ruling socialist party and Washington-backed conservative opposition groups came to a head after Mr Maduro was sworn in to a new term on Jan. 10.

The opposition, which largely boycotted the presidential elections in May, refuses to recognise Mr Maduro’s re-election win.

The White House followed up its recognition of Mr Guaido by slapping sanctions on Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA to cut off Mr Maduro’s access to vital revenue.

On Monday, Mr Maduro appealed to the “independent governments of the world” to reject the US-backed efforts to oust him from power.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump told media “all options are on the table” regarding Venezuela.

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“Donald Trump’s threats violate the United Nations charter, which prohibits the threat of the use of force or the use of force against any country,” said Mr Maduro.

Mr Maduro broke off diplomatic ties with the United States after Mr Trump recognised Mr Guaido.

At the Turiamo naval base in Aragua state on Monday, he urged the military to remain united amid mounting pressure from the opposition.

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