UPDATED 10:24 AM PT — Thursday, January 31, 2019
The EU has voted in favor of recognizing self proclaimed interim President Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.
In a special session Thursday, EU lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of the recognition, identifying Guaido as the de facto head of state and calling on all EU governments to do the same.
The non-binding vote considers Guaido as the only legitimate interim president until there are “new transparent and credible presidential elections.”
Last weekend, Britain, France, Germany and Spain said they would recognize Guaido unless President Nicolas Maduro called for elections within eight days.
“It is urgent to find a peaceful and democratic way out of the crisis, a solution where the people of Venezuela have the chance to determine their own future. Free and fair elections are the only way out of this crisis.” — Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management
The vote puts increasing pressure on Maduro as Venezuela continues to experience economic and political upheaval under his presidency.
The U.S. hit Venezuela’s state-owned oil company with sanctions earlier this week in a bid to force Maduro to step down.