Why do Greece and Italy support Maduro when the EU does not?


ATHENS, Greece – Venezuela is currently in a major political crisis, in which it faces the opposition leader who proclaimed himself president of the country, Juan Guaidó, and the United States, who intend to carry out an intervention in the country.

However, according to Greek Foreign Minister Georgios Katrougalos, Venezuelans should not allow any foreign interference in their internal affairs.

Dimitris Rapidis, political analyst and coordinator of the European Progressive Forum, commented on this.

Greece is one of the countries that did not recognize opposition leader Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela and thus showed solidarity with Venezuelans and support for democracy and the restoration of social peace. In addition, the analyst points out that the Greek government definitely does not support intervention in Venezuela’s internal affairs.

Some of the EU member states have supported and recognized Guaidó as interim president of the country. However, Greece believes that after the meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay, Venezuelans will be able to solve the problem through a peaceful solution.

Rapidis further stated that the facts currently involving Venezuela are not facts of great interest to the Greek people, although there are some media that are covering the events, but the Greeks are far from Venezuela, which makes Greece have other matters to deal with. However, he points out that, even with this geographical distance, the government believes that the Venezuelan problems must be solved in a peaceful way and that the European Union should support this process.

When asked about the reason why the countries supported the Venezuelan opposition leader, Rapidis said that it is possible to understand the support of some member countries of the European Union through their strategies. He said it is interesting to analyze the reaction time of the President of the European Council and the United States after the moment when Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself acting president of the country, “then you can see who ran to support Guaidó.”

Rapidis states that Maduro is the current president of Venezuela, having been legitimately elected, explaining that this understanding holds true for both the United Nations and its Secretary-General, António Guterres. He stressed that the European Union should have more maturity and a democracy mindset.

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In addition to Greece, Italy also took a neutral stand on the recognition of the Venezuelan opposition leader.
Paolo Salom, political observer of Corriere della Sera, said that the political orientation of the Italian government is not isolated as it may seem, noting that there will soon be elections in Europe, which may influence European countries in the to decide on support for the Venezuelan opposition leader.

Salom also says that the Italians have an old habit that everything the US does is not well-seen in Italy and, with that, believe that what is happening in Venezuela is part of American politics. He noted that the decision of the Italian government has the support of its constituents.

When asked about the reason why other countries supported Guaidó, the political observer said that this is a complicated situation, since there are 27 countries that form the European Union, and it would be very difficult for everyone to have the same opinion. In addition, around Venezuela there is much happening, involving various situations and powers on both sides.

Salom emphasizes that Italy supports new elections in Venezuela, but without any kind of interference in the country’s internal politics, reinforcing that it is a South American country and, therefore, other countries can not assume that democratic standards there are equal, since the region has distinct characteristics and that despite the critical situation in the country, the problem must be solved by the Venezuelans through new elections, choosing the government they want.

It is worth noting that Italy has adopted a neutral position with regard to the Venezuelan crisis, not supporting either President Nicolás Maduro or interim President Juan Guaidó, according to Luigi Di Maio, vice president of the Italian government, noting that he does not want the scenario of Libya to be repeated in Venezuela.

In all, 17 European Union countries have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president of the country, while other countries, such as Italy, Ireland and Greece, among others, are calling for new elections for the Venezuelan people to choose the better governance in a peaceful way.

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