Five-Star lawmakers decry European Parliament’s recognition of Guaido

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Rome, Feb 1 (IANS/AKI) Senators from Italy’s ruling grassroots Five-Star Movement have deplored a vote by the European Parliament recognizing Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido, calling the move “dangerous” and “a political act”.

“European Parliament’s recognition of Guiado as Venezuela’s legitimate President is a political act that could destabilize and deepen the crisis in the country, complicating dialogue and a negotiated solution,” said the lawmakers from the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

“We hope that European Union foreign policy chief (Federica) Mogherini will not go down this dangerous route,” the lawmakers added.

The abstention from Thursday’s vote by Five-Star members of the European Parliament “should remain on the record as an act of responsibility and of rejection of any external interference”, the lawmakers said.

In a non-binding resolution, Euro-MPs voted to recognise Guaido, Venezuela’s self-declared interim President as de-facto head of state and called on all EU governments to follow suit.

Guaido, the elected leader of the opposition-held National Assembly, declared himself the interim President on January 23 after leftist president Nikolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term earlier this month following polls marred by an opposition boycott and allegations of vote-rigging which triggered large protests in Venezuela.

The US and more than 20 countries have backed Guaido while Maduro has the support of Russia, China and Turkey.

About three million people have fled Venezuela amid acute economic problems and there has been an upsurge in violence in recent weeks.

–IANS/AKI

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