EU parliament recognises Guaido as Venezuelan interim president

The European Parliament recognised Venezuela's self-declared interim president Juan Guaido as the de-facto head of state on Thursday. (AFP)
Updated 31 January 2019

EU parliament recognises Guaido as Venezuelan interim president

  • Guaido said that secret meetings had been held with members of the security forces, and that most of those in uniform agree that the status quo cannot continue
  • Guaido declared himself interim president last week, arguing that Maduro’s reelection was illegitimate

WASHINGTON: The European Parliament recognised Venezuela's self-declared interim president Juan Guaido as the de-facto head of state on Thursday, a symbolic step that lawmakers said was designed to keep pressure on President Nicolas Maduro.
EU lawmakers voted in a non-binding resolution to recognise Guaido as interim leader and called on all EU governments to follow suit.
"From Europe, we can help change the Venezuelan regime and make it known that tyrants will never enlighten any democratic possibility," Spanish centre-right EU lawmaker Esteban Gonzalez Pons said in a statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, Guaido wrote in The New York Times that support from the Venezuelan military is “crucial” to efforts to oust President Nicolas Maduro. 
Guaido said that secret meetings had been held with members of the security forces, and that most of those in uniform agree that the status quo cannot continue.
“The military’s withdrawal of support from Mr.Maduro is crucial to enabling a change in government, and the majority of those in service agree that the country’s recent travails are untenable,” Guaido wrote.
“The transition will require support from key military contingents. We have had clandestine meetings with members of the armed forces and the security forces.”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders tweeted a link to Guaido’s op-ed along with the message: “America stands with the people of Venezuela.”


Guaido declared himself interim president last week, arguing that Maduro’s reelection was illegitimate and that he, as president of the National Assembly, was constitutionally mandated to step in.
He quickly earned the support of the United States and several Latin American countries, and six major European nations have told Maduro to call fresh elections by the weekend or they too will recognize his opponent.
Venezuela — which has the world’s largest proven oil reserves — has suffered an economic meltdown under Maduro’s leadership, marked by hyperinflation and shortages of basic necessities such as food and medicine.
Millions have been left in poverty, while 2.3 million more have fled the country, unleashing a migration crisis in South America.


South Sudan confirms first case of coronavirus

Updated 3 min 29 sec ago

South Sudan confirms first case of coronavirus

  • The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said the woman is a member of its staff
  • South Sudan has already closed bars, night clubs and shops, other than those selling food, and encouraged people to observe social distancing rules

JUBA: South Sudan reported its first coronavirus case on Sunday, one of the last African nations to confirm the presence of COVID-19 within its borders.
“South Sudan confirms one case of coronavirus,” Riek Machar, the country’s first vice president, told a press conference in the capital Juba.
Machar identified the patient as a 29-year-old woman who arrived in South Sudan from the Netherlands via Ethiopia on February 28.
Her nationality was not given.
In a statement, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said the woman is a member of its staff.
She tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday after presenting herself at a UN clinic on Thursday.
“The Ministry of Health is leading a full investigation with the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention including identifying and following up all the possible contacts and next steps,” Machar said.
South Sudan has already closed bars, night clubs and shops, other than those selling food, and encouraged people to observe social distancing rules.
Borders have been shut and the country’s international airport closed. A curfew is also in place from 8:00 p.m. to 06:00 am.
One of the world’s poorest countries, South Sudan is woefully undeveloped. It has been wracked by a series of civil wars over decades, leaving it ill-equipped to fight the pandemic or provide even basic health care to its citizens.
The most recent round of civil war cost the lives of an estimated 380,000 people, forced millions from their homes and wrecked the already weak economy. It only ended with the appointment of Machar as vice president in February, rejoining the government of his foe President Salva Kiir.