Germany recognizes Venezuela opposition chief as acting president

AFP/The Local
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Germany recognizes Venezuela opposition chief as acting president
Opposition leader Juan Guaidó speaks on Saturday in Caracas, Venezuela's capital. Photo: DPA

Germany on Monday joined several other European countries in recognizing Venezuela's opposition chief Juan Guaido as interim leader after President Nicolas Maduro rejected their ultimatum to announce new presidential elections.


"We recognize Juan Guaido as interim president of Venezuela, tasked with  starting the political transition and leading the country to free, transparent and credible elections," said Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokeswoman Martina Fietz.

SEE ALSO: Germany may recognize Guaido as Venezuela's leader

"As of yesterday, no presidential election had been called," Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit to Tokyo.

"Therefore, Guaido is the person we are talking to and we expect him to begin an election process as soon as possible.

"He is the legitimate interim president for this task from Germany's point of view and from the point of view of several European countries.

"We hope that this process can be carried out as quickly and peacefully as possible."

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) also added that he regrets that "President Maduro has not complied with the EU's call for free and fair presidential elections," he said Monday.

Maas further expressed his sympathy with the people of Venezuela who are "suffering from a dramatic supply situation," he tweeted. "Germany is providing 5 million euros for humanitarian aid to Venezuela as soon as the political conditions there allow."

Venezuela, an oil-rich but economically devastated country, was plunged into uncertainty in January when Guaido, the 35-year-old head of the National Assembly, proclaimed himself "acting president".

Maduro's reelection last year was disputed by the opposition, and criticized internationally.


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