UN chief Guterres urges dialogue in Venezuela to avert ‘disaster’

UN chief Antonio Guterres on Thursday appealed for dialogue in Venezuela to avoid the political crisis spiraling out of control. The statement came after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president, AFP reports. “What we hope is that dialogue can be possible, and that we avoid an escalation that would lead to the kind of conflict that would be a disaster for the people of Venezuela and for the region,” Guterres said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The United States, Brazil and other countries on Wednesday endorsed Guaido’s declaration in repudiation of President Nicolas Maduro. “Sovereign governments have the possibility to decide whatever they want,” the UN secretary-general said. “What we are worried [about] with the situation in Venezuela is the suffering of the people,” he added.