Guaido or Maduro? Malta’s position same as EU level

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido speaks during a meeting with supporters to present a government plan of the opposition in Caracas, Venezuela January 31, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

At this time, Malta’s current position on recognising Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro or Interim President Juan Guaido, reflects the ‘EU level’ position.

Newsbook.com.mt had contacted the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion for information over whom the government would recognise in Venezuela’s contested election.

The spokesperson from the Latin America desk explained that the country’s position reflected the ‘EU level’ but provided no details about when a ‘national level’ decision would be reached or officially broadcast.

It is understood that following a non-binding vote in the European Parliament on Thursday, 429 MEPs voted in favour of recognising interim president Juan Guaido as the de-facto head of the Venezuelan state.

Following the vote, the Parliament went on to urge the 28 European member states to also support Guaido as ‘the only legitimate interim president’ until fresh elections could be called.

Recognition from EU member states

In the past few days, a number of countries from The United States to Morocco, have flown their colours in recognition of Juan Guaido.

In Europe alone; Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the Netherlands, have all come out in support.

However, it is viewed that smaller states will choose to be more cautious about their official positions or even to consider using the word ‘recognition’.

Speaking to Euronews, an EU diplomat stated that, ‘A lot of countries will want to stress the interim nature of this de-facto recognition’.

Do not recognise Juan Guaido

While we await Malta’s official position over Juan Guaido, the Maltese leftist think tank, Żminijietna has urged the government ‘should not recognize Juan Guaido as “president in charge” of Venezuela’.

The group states that Italy, Greece and Luxembourg have ‘staunchly rejected Guaido’s claim to the presidency’.

Instead, the group encourages the government to adopt the multi-national position to seek a political solution which will be convened as a conference in Uruguay on Thursday 7th.

‘Malta should support the initiative taken by the governments of Mexico, Bolivia, and Uruguay, together with the U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and with the support of Pope Francis and the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, to organize an international conference in order to reach a peaceful solution to the political crisis in Venezuela. The conference will take place on Feb. 7 in Montevideo, Uruguay’.