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1 Feb, 2019 09:13

We must avoid mistake of Libya: Italian deputy FM speaks out against Venezuela regime change

We must avoid mistake of Libya: Italian deputy FM speaks out against Venezuela regime change

Italy “does not recognise” Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as its interim president, the European country’s deputy foreign minister said, warning that a Libya-style regime change must be avoided.

“Today, the greatest interest we have is to avoid a new war in Venezuela,” Manlio Di Stefano told Italy’s TV2000 network on Thursday. He added that the kind of regime change that failed in Libya must not be attempted, as it turned out to be a “mistake” that everyone recognized today.

“We must prevent this from happening in Venezuela,” he warned.

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The Five Star Movement (M5S) politician’s comments come the same day the EU Parliament voted, in a non-legislative resolution, to recognize Guaido as interim president of the oil-rich South American nation.

In addition to MEPs giving their “full support” for Venezuela’s opposition-controlled parliament, the National Assembly, the bloc is also calling for fresh elections in the country in a bid to “restore democracy.”

The EU’s call for fresh elections had initially been supported by Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi, an independent, on Wednesday, but he stopped short of offering any ultimatum to Venezuela’s constitutionally-elected President Nicolas Maduro.

However, Di Stefano spoke out against the support given by third-party nations to Guaido, saying Italy was totally against attempts to interfere with the “internal policies of another country.”

“It is called the principle of non-interference and is recognized by the United Nations,” he said.

READ MORE: Watching Venezuela? US spy plane spotted above Colombia as Washington fuels anti-Maduro coup

Little known both inside and outside Venezuela until he declared himself to be the interim president of the country on January 23, parliament speaker Guaido has received enthusiastic backing from the US, Canada, and neighboring Colombia and Brazil.

Meanwhile, Russia, China, Iran, Cuba and Turkey are among those sticking by elected President Maduro.

In a direct video appeal to US citizens on Thursday, Maduro called the campaign against him a coup “set, financed and actively supported by the Donald Trump administration.” He also warned that any attempt to put US troops on Venezuelan soil would result in a quagmire like Vietnam.

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