The Venezuelan interim head of state called on the EU to put more pressure on Nicolás Maduro. At the reception in Brussels, he called his country a dictatorship.
The Venezuelan interim president, Juan Guaidó, believes that the European Union should put more pressure on Nicolás Maduro, the socialist leader. "You have opportunities to put pressure on Venezuela," said Mr Guaidó in the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday. The "free world" must impose further sanctions against the dictatorship in the South American state of crisis. He also tries to meet with US President Donald Trump. "We are making every effort to coordinate as many programs as possible," he said. In the past, Mr Guaidó had not ruled out approval for a possible US military intervention.
During his visit in Brussels, Mr Guaidó expressed his "deep gratitude" to Parliament. Previously, he had already been welcomed by EU External Relations Officer Josep Borrell and EU Commission Vice Margaritis Schinas. Mr Borrell has assured Mr Guaidó of EU support, the EU Commission said. The National Assembly, for which Mr Guaidó was recently elected, was "the only democratically elected institution in Venezuela".
Mr Guaidó is currently on a trip to Europe to seek further support in the power struggle with Mr Maduro from his allies and sympathizers. Officially, the opposition politician is subject to an exit ban, which he defeated with a trip to Colombia and now to Europe.
Maduro is still in office thanks to the military
The MP had declared himself head of state a year ago and had openly challenged Mr Maduro after his controversial re-election. Mr Guaidó is recognized as a legitimate transition president by more than 50 countries, including the United States and Germany. However, he failed to push the military-backed Mr Maduro out of office. Mr Maduro is supported by China and Russia, among others.
Human rights groups and international organizations accuse Mr Maduro's government of crimes such as arbitrary murders, kidnapping and torture. Venezuela continues to suffer from a severe economic crisis despite the world's largest oil reserves. Due to a lack of foreign exchange and severe US sanctions, the country can hardly import food, medicine and everyday necessities. The national currency is devalued by enormous inflation. 4.5 million of the 30 million Venezuelans have already left the country.