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    Supporters of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gather around Supreme Court ahead of his swearing-in ceremony, in Caracas, Venezuela January 10, 2019.

    Forcing New Gov't on Caracas Won't Help Divided Society - Ex-Ecuadorean Minister

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Union should refrain from following the United States in its policy on Venezuela, as a "regime change at any price" is unlikely to help solve the crisis in the society that is highly divided on their opinion of President Nicolas Maduro, Guillaume Long, former minister of foreign affairs of Ecuador, told Sputnik.

    "It’s important that the EU states are very cautious and do not follow the US politics in Venezuela. It’s important for the EU to have its own position, we should not fall into the temptation to seek regime change at any price, without thinking about the consequences that it may have and making a mistake thinking that all the Venezuelans are against Maduro. Their society is very divided about this question and we will not resolve it by imposing another regime", Long, who is an associated researcher at IRIS-France think tank, said.

    READ MORE: Timeline of Political Instability in Venezuela Over the Years

    Long added that the Europeans would do well to "play a mediating role, rather than that exacerbating tensions." The former minister added that US sanctions were putting great pressure on Venezuelan economy.

    "It’s clear that the US sanctions and the regime of strangling Venezuelan economy by [President Donald] Trump’s administration is currently one of the biggest problems for Venezuela, which prevents it from improving its domestic situation. It’s appalling that the US would do that. The economic problem is central for Venezuela today", he said.

    On Tuesday, the opposition-run Venezuelan National Assembly adopted a statement declaring Maduro "a usurper." On Wednesday, the assembly's head Juan Guaido declared himself the country's interim president at a mass rally in Caracas. Washington recognised Guaido and called on Maduro to step down.

    A number of countries, including Ecuador, have also recognised Guaido as Venezuela's interim leader.

    Views and opinions, expressed in the article are those of Guillaume Long and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik


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