CARACAS, Venezuela – The statement by the Lima Group on Caracas condemning the Venezuelan leadership and supporting the country’s opposition as interim government was rejected by Venezuela’s re-elected president, Nicolás Maduro, on Tuesday.
The Venezuelan head of state said during a Twitter broadcast that he is sure he will win this dispute.
“We do not know if we should laugh or vomit […] I am absolutely convinced that we will win this battle, in this historic period, we will win against the Lima Group, I am convinced that we will win in diplomacy and politics,” he added.
In addition, Maduro also reported on a letter addressed to the White House, with about 10 million signatures, asking for the US to leave the country’s internal affairs.
“At least 10 million Venezuelans will sign this [letter], we will send this document to the White House, insisting on respect,” Maduro said in a speech to the nation.
On February 4, the Lima Group together with other countries met to discuss solutions to the political crisis in Caracas, which resulted in a critical statement regarding the Venezuelan government, calling on the international community to suspend financial and commercial ties with to Venezuela.
The ministers did not recognize Maduro’s re-election and called for a new vote, which would imply the transfer of presidential power to the Venezuelan Parliament until the new election is held.
The self-proclaimed acting head of state of National Assembly President Juan Guaidó was supported by the United States and several other countries, further accentuating the internal crisis in the country. Russia and China, as well as other countries, refused to support Guaido, supporting Maduro as the country’s legitimate president and demanding that other countries respect the principle of non-interference in Caracas’s internal affairs.
Russian President Dmitry Peskov’s spokesman said that the desire to legitimize the attempt to seize power in Venezuela is a direct interference in the country’s affairs, which does not contribute to the effective and peaceful solution of the crisis.
“Any solution to the Venezuelan internal political crisis is only possible by the Venezuelans themselves. The imposition of solutions or legitimizing the attempt to usurp the power is, in our opinion, both direct and indirect interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela,” said Peskov .
The Russian spokesman’s statement to reporters was made while commenting on the recognition by European Union countries of Juan Guaidó as acting president of Venezuela.
According to the Kremlin’s representative, this interference “does not contribute in any way to a peaceful, effective and viable solution to the crisis experienced by the Venezuelans, who […] must overcome the crisis alone.”
On Monday, the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, recognized the opposition leader of the Caribbean country. Shortly after the Spanish declaration, France, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom also recognized Guaidó.
On 31 January the European Parliament asked EU diplomat Federica Mogherini and the governments of the Member States to join the recognition of the opposition leader.