The European Union, according to the self-proclaimed Venezuelan interim president Juan Guaidó, should put more pressure on the socialist leader Nicolás Maduro. "You have opportunities to put pressure on Venezuela," said Guaidó in the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday. The "free world" must impose further sanctions against the "dictatorship" in the South American crisis state. He also strives to meet with US President Donald Trump. "We are making every effort to coordinate as many programs as possible," he said. In the past, Guaidé had not ruled out approval for a possible US military intervention.
For his reception in Brussels, Guaidó expressed his "deep gratitude" to Parliament. Previously, he had already been welcomed by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrel and EU commission vice-president Margaritis Schinas. Borell has assured Guaidó of EU support, the EU Commission said. The National Assembly, for which Guiadó was recently elected, was "the only democratically elected institution in Venezuela".
Guaidó is currently on a trip to Europe to seek further support in the power struggle with 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. His participation in the World Economic Forum in Davos is also expected at the end of the week.
Maduro is still in office thanks to the military
The MP had declared himself head of state a year ago, thereby openly challenging Maduro after his controversial re-election. 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 Maduro out of office. Maduro is supported by China and Russia, among others.
Human rights groups and international organizations accuse 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.