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23 Jan, 2019 19:29

Brazil’s Bolsonaro recognizes Guaidó as Venezuela’s acting head, while Mexico stands by Maduro

Brazil’s Bolsonaro recognizes Guaidó as Venezuela’s acting head, while Mexico stands by Maduro

Brazil and several other South American states have recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the country's interim president, following the lead of the US, Canada, and the EU. Mexico, Uruguay, and Bolivia declined.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted that “Brazil supports politically and economically the transition back to democracy and social peace in Venezuela.”

Guaidó, currently president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, swore himself in as the country’s interim president on Wednesday and encouraged the Venezuelan military to support fresh democratic elections.

After Guaidó’s declaration, given in front of thousands of anti-government demonstrators in Caracas, US President Donald Trump officially recognized the opposition head as Venezuela’s legitimate leader, snubbing the elected socialist government of Nicolas Maduro.

Also on rt.com Trump recognizes US-backed head of Venezuela’s opposition Juan Guaido as country’s interim president

Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Ecuador, Argentina, Costa Rica, Panama, and Guatemala all followed suit, as did the Secretary of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro. “Our congratulations to @jguaido as President-in-charge of Venezuela,” Almagro tweeted.

Apart from the Latin American countries, Canada, France, and the chief diplomat of the European Union all endorsed the opposition ‘president’ to lead the country. “The EU fully supports the National Assembly as the democratically elected institution whose powers need to be restored and respected,” Federica Mogherini said in a statement.

Also on rt.com Unelected Brussels bureaucrats support ‘democracy’ in Venezuela ‘on behalf of EU’

The Mexican government, however, still recognizes Maduro’s government, a spokesman said on Wednesday. In fact, the governments of Mexico and Uruguay have urged all the relevant actors to find a peaceful and democratic solution to the Venezuelan crisis. In a statement, they jointly called on “all parties involved, both within that country and abroad, to reduce tensions and avoid escalation of violence that could aggravate the situation.”

Despite Latin American and international support for Guaidó, a number of countries in the region and the globe refused to recognize the opposition’s claim to power. “Maduro, brother, stand tall, Turkey stands with you,” Erdogan told Maduro by phone, according to Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin.

Also on rt.com ‘So much for non-meddling’: Russian FM spokeswoman slams West for ‘handpicking’ Venezuela govt

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova meanwhile noted that foreign meddling in Venezuelan internal affairs demonstrates the extent to which the ‘progressive’ international community really respects sovereignty and laws. Russia will not change its recognition of Maduro as the legitimate president of the country, the deputy chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Andrey Klimov, told RIA, warning that any “third party intervention,” especially with the use of military forces, will lead to a regional conflict. 

Bolivian President Evo Morales declared “solidarity with the people of Venezuela and brother Nicolas Maduro” in resisting the “claws of imperialism” in South America. “We are never going to be the backyard of the US,” Morales tweeted.

The president of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel, also expressed his support for Maduro, condemning the “imperialist attempts to discredit and destabilize the Bolivarian Revolution.”

Guaidó’s declaration came as thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets to protest Maduro’s government. As leader of the National Assembly, Guaidó had been one of the loudest voices condemning Maduro’s re-election last May as illegitimate. 

The protests kicked off after a National Guard unit in Caracas staged a mutiny in the early hours of Monday morning, and called on other military units to do the same. The soldiers were arrested, but demonstrations broke out across the city in the days since. Four people have reportedly been killed in the rallies.

Crowds of Maduro supporters have also filled the streets of Caracas, and marched to the Presidential Palace on Wednesday afternoon to hear their leader's response.

Also on rt.com US might pull regional strings to topple Maduro through military invasion – Max Blumenthal

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