European nations announce recognition of Guaidó as Venezuelan leader

European nations announce recognition of Guaidó as Venezuelan leader

Several European nations on Monday recognized Juan Guaidó, president of Venezuela's National Assembly, as the country's interim president.

France, Spain, Germany, Britain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Austria and the Netherlands all announced their support for Guaidó in a coordinated move Monday, according to Reuters.

ADVERTISEMENT

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was sworn in for a second term last month, but his election has widely been viewed as being illegitimate.

The U.S. last month recognized Guaidó as the country's interim president.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Monday called for "the return of full democracy in Venezuela."

"We are working for the return of full democracy in Venezuela: human rights, elections and no more political prisoners," Sanchez told reporters, according to The Associated Press.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a new election "as quickly as possible."

“Juan Guaidó is now the person with whom we’re speaking and whom we expect to initiate an election process as quickly as possible,” she said, according to Bloomberg News.

“For this task, he is the legitimate interim president, from Germany’s perspective and from the perspective of many European partners," Merkel added. "We hope that this process can take place in the shortest possible time frame and, of course, peacefully.”

In addition to the European nations and the U.S., Canada and several Latin American countries have also recognized Guaidó as Venezuela's interim president.

Maduro has rejected Guaidó’s claims to the presidency and refused to step down. 

“I am the only president of Venezuela. We do not want to return to the 20th century of gringo interventions and coups d’état,” Maduro said last month.

Maduro also called it a “grave mistake” when the U.S. recognized Guaidó as interim president and responded further by cutting off all diplomatic relations with the U.S.

Maduro also proposed early parliamentary elections in response to the calls for a new presidential election.