Rome has effectively derailed an EU statement meant to recognize Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim leader if President Nicolas Maduro fails to set up proposed snap elections.

Italy announced the veto at a meeting of EU foreign ministers that started on January 31 in Romania. The parliament urged the EU to follow suit but the effort stalled due to internal discord.

However, a range of European nations have separately recognized the opposition chief as Venezuela’s acting president, including the UK, France, Sweden, Spain, and Austria.

The move came after an 8-day deadline for Maduro to call presidential elections expired on Monday. Maduro himself rejected the EU ultimatum but promised to push for political reform.

He suggested that parliamentary elections be held earlier than 2020, arguing that the National Assembly – a legislative body dominated by the opposition and headed by Guaido – needs to be “re-legitimized.”

Some of the country’s high-ranking officials, including a defense attaché in the USA, voiced their support for Guaido, but the majority remained loyal to Maduro, including the powerful army.

Political turmoil escalated in Venezuela because a plummeting economy led to skyrocketing prices, after hostile IMF sanctions left most of its population in poverty.

The United Nations will not join any side in discussions involving the political crisis in Venezuela.

RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2019.

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