Portugal recognises Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 07-02-2019 10:25:00 · 0 Comments
Portugal recognises Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela

Portugal’s government has recognised Juan Guaidó, the speaker of Venezuela’s parliament who last week proclaimed himself interim head of state, “as president in charge of convening free and fair elections in Venezuela”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a statement on Monday.

Portugal joins other European Union countries such as Spain, the UK and Sweden, who have already recognised Guaidó as interim president, following the expiry of the deadline for President Nicolás Maduro to convene fresh elections.

Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK had given Maduro eight days to call elections, with the deadline on Sunday, noting that Guaidó’s move was in accordance with Venezuela’s constitution.

Portugal is among EU member states with the most direct interest in stabilising the situation in Venezuela, given the large number of its nationals and descendants of its nationals living in the troubled country.

Meanwhile, Portugal’s recognition of Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president has led to “hope” and “expectation” among the Portuguese community in Venezuela, according to those charged with liaising with it.

Fernando Campos, a counsellor for the Portuguese community in Venezuela, told Lusa News Agency that most people were “satisfied” but that everything would depend on how the government reacted to the move.

Leonel Moniz, another counsellor who is monitoring the situation in the country and its impact on the Portuguese community there, said “difficult times” lay ahead and that there were no immediate solutions.

He also said that some Portuguese citizens took a negative stance towards Portugal and the attention Lisbon paid to emigrants.
Niclos Maduro has meanwhile said that he was reviewing bilateral relations with EU countries that recognised Guaidó as interim president.

In related news, Venezuela’s embassy in Portugal has denied that the ambassador, Lucas Rincón Romero, attempted to transfer funds held in Portugal’s Novo Banco to banks in Uruguay, describing the allegation as a “stunt”.

According to the embassy, the allegation is an “unprecedented media campaign against the legitimate rulers of the country.”
Novo Banco had allegedly suspended a planned transfer of funds held by the Venezuelan state, of $1.2 billion dollars (€1.05 billion), to accounts in Uruguay, the chair of the finance committee of Venezuela’s parliament, Carlos Paparoni had claimed.

The amount, he said, was “a value close to 1.2 billion dollars. Specifically, they attempted to transfer to the Banco República e o Banco de Desenvolvimento Económico e Social (Bandes) of Uruguay. “

Paparoni recalled that on 15 January the parliament, where the opposition to Maduro dominates, approved an agreement to protect Venezuela’s assets abroad and delegated to his committee the coordination and follow-up of actions to protect these assets.


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