MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) – European and Latin American leaders met on Thursday to seek a peaceful and political solution to Venezuela’s deepening crisis, while a U.S. admiral suggested socialist President Nicolas Maduro does not have the loyalty of many within his military.
International pressure on Maduro to step down has intensified this week as a flood of EU members followed the U.S. move to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president of the economically shattered South American nation.
Russia - China - Maduro - Washington - Others
Russia and China continue to back Maduro and have warned Washington and others not to intervene.
Holding its inaugural meeting in Uruguay’s capital Montevideo, the European Union-backed International Contact Group on Venezuela called for a more hands-off approach than that advocated by the United States and some other Latin American nations.
EU - Policy - Chief - Federica - Mogherini
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said the group, launched late last month, was pushing for a peaceful and political solution, adding that a resolution ultimately must come from the people of Venezuela.
“This is not only the most desirable result but is the only result if we want to avoid more suffering and a chaotic process,” Mogherini said in Montevideo alongside Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez.
Dilemma - Venezuela - Peace - War - Call
“The biggest dilemma facing Venezuela is between peace and war, which is why we are insisting in our call for calm from the parties involved and the prudence of the international community,” Vazquez said.
In power since 2013 and re-elected last year in a vote critics have called a sham, Maduro has presided over an economic collapse marked by widespread shortages of food and medicine and hyperinflation. An estimated 3 million Venezuelans have left the oil-rich OPEC-member country.
Group - Meeting - Montevideo - Process - Days
The group meeting in Montevideo said it wants a process within 90 days in which Venezuelans determine their own future through free elections. Some critics have said this stance could let Maduro off the...
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