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  • Venezuela's Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza talks to the media during a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela January 12, 2019.

    Venezuela's Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza talks to the media during a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela January 12, 2019. | Photo: Reuters file

Published 28 January 2019

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday rejected the European Union's ultimatum to call for elections in an eight-day period.

The Foreign Minister of Venezuela Jorge Arreaza issued a staunch response on Sunday to European governments’ arbitrary demands to hold elections in the country as a precondition to withholding recognition of the self-proclaimed lawmaker, Juan Guaido, as ‘interim president’ in an interview with RT news.

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The European Union called for an eight-day period to hold elections in Venezuela as a precondition to not recognize Guaido. Arreaza labeled these remarks as “interventionist” “arrogant” and “artificial.”

These remarks came after Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday rejected the ultimatum to call elections and said opposition leader Juan Guaido had violated the country's constitution by declaring himself as leader.

"What we have been saying from the first day of the revolution is that we are willing to sit down with our detractors, our political adversaries and, on the basis of the constitution, reach the necessary political accords,” said Arreaza. This statement reiterates president Maduro’s call for dialogue both with the opposition and also with U.S. President Donald Trump, although he said this would be “improbable” but not “impossible.”

Attention has been called by a left-wing coalition in Europe to the mounting pressure from the United States and Brazil, both far-right governments, which have exploited the already tense relations between the Maduro government and the right-wing opposition in the country to push for a political outcome which benefits their own agenda for the region.

“The far-right governments of (U.S. President Donald) Trump and (Brazilian President Jair) Bolsonaro offer no hope to Venezuela or to the majority of people in Latin America,” stated a communique sent out by Sixteen high ranking British officials, representatives of 24 labor and political movements, six academics, as well as the journalist and campaigner, Owen Jones; writer and playwright Tariq Ali, rapper Lowkey, poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, and actor Andy de la Tour, among many others, in support of Venezuelan sovereignty to decide their own matters.

This position coincides widely with that of the government of Venezuela: “We must find our own solutions, everything else is outside the realm of the constitution,” Arreaza reiterated.

Referring to the countries which acknowledged Guaido, Arreaza stated, “focused on the leader of the coup (d’état), on the circus’ manager, which is the government of the U.S.” but they will evaluate, “case for case, and will make recommendations for the president,” said Arreaza referring to the different stances taken on by foreign governments.

This Sunday, the foreign ministry sent a communique stating that they lament that “the European Union had the courage to withstand pressure from the government of the United States and has consequently decided to support their unfit choir of satellite governments.”

The interviewed being addressed comes after an official declaration by the ministry of foreign affairs which categorically rejects the stance adopted by the European Union toward Venezuela. The communique states, “The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela expresses its most forceful rejection of the declaration by the European Union of Jan. 26, through which it has demonstrated it’s signing on to the coup d'etat orchestrated by the United States government, and which has the intent of giving an ultimatum to the Venezuelan state, which is befitting of the old colonial powers it represents.”

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