Europe Backs Venezuela's Juan Guaido As Anti-President Bloc Grows

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Britain, France, Spain and Germany were among 15 European nations to officially recognise Juan Guaido as Venezuela's "interim president", in move which was swiftly denounced by Nicolas Maduro as a "gringo plot to overthrow the revolution".

During the protest, Guaido announced the installation of collection centres for medicine and food - items lacking in Venezuela - in neighbouring Colombia and Brazil.

Mr. Marulanda said the recent Russian arrivals are special forces - Spetsnaz - who are being embedded among Venezuela's elite military units to better resist any US intervention or internal coup against Mr. Maduro. Guaido repeatedly has called on Venezuela's military, which has remained loyal to Maduro, to support a transition to democracy.

France, Germany, Portugal, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and the Netherlands also recognized Guaido.

"We must all stick together and speak as one until such time as the former President Maduro has stood down and allowed fresh, properly conducted free and fair democratic elections to take place", Duncan added.

The embattled Maduro, whose years in power have seen Venezuela sink into an economic crisis that the United Nations estimates has led as many as three million Venezuelans to flee the country and brought on widespread food shortages, has refused to step down despite accusations that his country's most recent election was rigged.

He said Spain, which has a sizable Venezuelan community, also is working on a humanitarian aid program for Venezuela, where shortages of basic items are acute. Critics of Maduro blame the Venezuelan government's mismanagement for the lack of food and medical supplies.

Britain is considering slapping Caracas with sanctions as part of its bid to put an end to the "Maduro regime", a spokesman to Prime Minister Theresa May told reporters on Monday. "So U.K. alongside European allies now recognizes Guaido as interim constitutional president".

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian appealed for an early presidential election that will ensure "the Venezuelan crisis ends peacefully".

At least 200 missing after severe flooding at Brazilian mine
That announcement sent the miner's shares higher as analysts said it provided greater clarity on iron ore output going forward. An Ibama official also said during a meeting previous year that some locals were "very anxious , with good reason".

"We really believe that what we are doing is not only for Venezuela, it's the fall of the Berlin wall in Latin America and it's a new chapter for history".

Venezuela's ambassador to Iraq, Jonathan Velasco, became the latest official to recognize opposition leader Guaido this weekend.

Spain, Britain and France were among 16 European Union nations to side with Guaido on Monday, following in the footsteps of key regional powers and the United States which has refused to rule out a military intervention in the crisis-wracked country. "I hope we will have a positive answer [from him]", Maduro told Italian news channel SkyTg24. "Why should the European Union be giving ultimatums to a country?"

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said in an interview that the election that brought Maduro to power was neither free or fair.

In an interview that aired Monday with Italy's Sky TG24 he said that he had written Pope Francis asking for help in fostering dialogue with the opposition.

Joseph Humire, a lecturer for the U.S. Army's 7th Special Forces Group, said in an interview that Russian Federation wants to "draw the U.S. into a quagmire", which Mr. Maduro has warned that would be "worse than Vietnam".

They showed the most solidarity towards us and they are constantly monitoring events in Venezuela.

In an appearance later on state television, Maduro was especially harsh on fellow socialist and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, saying he would have "blood on his hands" if a coup is carried out against him. It aims to facilitate dialogue and is due to hold its first meeting in Uruguay on Thursday.

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