Venezuela: the European ultimatum to Nicolas Maduro

Three European countries allied with the United States, led by France, have issued an ultimatum to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

France, Spain and Germany simultaneously declare that they will recognize the self-proclaimed President Juan Guaido if early elections are not announced within eight days in Venezuela.

“France will be ready to recognize Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s “president in charge” if no election is announced within eight days,” French President Emmanuel Macron said on his Twitter account.

“The Venezuelan people must be able to freely decide their future. Without elections announced within 8 days, we will be ready to recognize Juan Guaido as the “president in charge” of Venezuela to launch a political process. We are working on this between European partners. It is with these words and on his Twitter account that Emmanuel Macron formulated this ultimatum.

At the same time, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez also announced on Saturday that if Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro did not announce new elections in Venezuela within eight days, Madrid would recognize Juan Guaido as “interim president”.

German government spokeswoman Martina Fletz said on 26 January on her Twitter account that Berlin would be ready to recognize Juan Guaido as “interim president” of Venezuela in the absence of elections announced within eight days.

Donald Trump has already recognized Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s “interim president” in an announcement made on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, in a White House statement. As official as it was unusual, the text of the American presidency was circulated shortly after the self-proclamation of the young opponent of Nicolas Maduro.

Washington’s decision met with strong opposition from Russia, Turkey and Iran, who insisted on respect for democratic rules. In the elections held a few months ago, Venezuelans voted largely for Nicolas Maduro.

In addition, after the coordinated action by France/Germany/Spain, the European Union announced that it would “take further measures” if elections are not called “in the next few days” in Venezuela.

“In the absence of an announcement on the organisation of new elections with the necessary guarantees in the coming days, the EU will take further steps, including on the issue of recognition of the country’s leadership,” European diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said on Saturday in a statement.

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