Germany, France, Britain, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Belgium have said they will recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as president if Maduro fails to announce a second vote before the eight-day ultimatum expires. France’s European affairs minister, Nathalie Loiseau, told news men on Sunday that “if by tonight [President] Maduro does not commit to organizing presidential elections, then France will consider Juan Guaido as legitimate to organize them in his place and we will consider him as the interim president until legitimate elections in Venezuela [take place].”
Maduro has dismissed calls from the EU nations as an “impertinence,” telling demonstrators at a rally on Saturday that “I am the true president of Venezuela.” The European Parliament recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim leader on Thursday.
EU foreign ministers remain cautious about setting precedents for other opposition figures across the world, deciding each state within the 28-nation bloc would adopt its own stance on whether to recognize Guaido, or not. EU Brexit deal is ‘best and only solution’: German foreign minister On Saturday, rival mass rallies took place in Caracas with Maduro suggesting instead he would call an early parliamentary election, while Guaido presaged humanitarian imports from Colombia and Brazil for sanctions-hit Venezuelans for which US National Security Adviser John Bolton has proffered transport.
Maduro has previously refused to let in aid, claiming it would precede a US-led military intervention. In a possible sign of weakening support for Maduro, the Reuters news agency reported that riot police had let demonstrators pass and assemble in at least three cities during Saturday’s rallies.