EU guidelines out navy intervention in Venezuela

WASHINGTON

Military intervention is not an option to resolve Venezuela’s humanitarian and political crisis, European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said Tuesday.

Mogherini said that while tensions have been “escalating dramatically” in the country, the solution to the crisis must be political “as well as peaceful and democratic”.

“No military interventions from inside or outside of the country would be acceptable for us. And a solution cannot be, and should not be, imposed from the outside,” she said at the UN’s New York headquarters.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his senior-most officials have, however, refused to rule out the use of military force to end the crisis and have insisted that all options remain on the table.

The majority of EU nations, the U.S. and dozens of other states have recognized Venezuela’s National Assembly president Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate leader after he declared himself interim president on Jan. 23.

But Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has adamantly resisted calls from Guaido and his supporters to cede power, insisting he is the victim of a U.S.-orchestrated coup.

Washington has led an international campaign to apply economic and diplomatic pressure on Maduro, including sanctioning the country’s state-owned oil company, Petroleos De Venezuela S.A., or PDVSA, and blacklisting Venezuelan government officials who have remained loyal to him.

Venezuela is experiencing widespread shortages of food and medicine and has the highest inflation rate in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund. Its economy has been in precipitous decline following a global downturn in the price of crude oil, Venezuela’s main export.

Turkey, Russia, Iran, Cuba, China and Bolivia have maintained their support for Maduro.

*Betul Yuruk contributed to this report from the United Nations

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