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    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro attends a military exercise in Turiamo, Venezuela February 3, 2019.

    #Venezuela: ‘EU Should Have More Mature Stance in Favour of Democracy’ – Analyst

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    Venezuela shouldn’t allow any foreign interference in its internal affairs. This is what Greece’s Alternate Foreign Minister Georgios Katrougalos said. Sputnik discussed the issue with Dimitris Rapidis, a political analyst and coordinator at the European Progressive Forum.

    Sputnik: Greece was one of the nations who refused to recognise Guaido as an interim president of Venezuela. Why is that?

    Dimitris Rapidis: First of all, I’d like to say that Greece from the very first moment stands in solidarity with the people of Venezuela, and it supports democracy and the restoration of social peace in the highly polarized society. The Greek government definitely stands for the non-intervention in domestic affairs of Venezuela; this principle applies to all the global stage.

    As for the position of the European Union, actually the Greek side contributed to the final document, which is actually calling for Maduro to go for elections; but at the same time, it wasn’t at all supporting Guaido, who proclaimed himself the interim president of Venezuela. From the last EU Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, there’re a number of member states that have actually recognised Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela; but Greece hasn’t done so because we still believe that this intervention group, the discussion group that will meet in the coming days in Montevideo, Uruguay, will provide a positive and peaceful solution on the issues that Venezuela is facing.

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    Sputnik: You’ve articulated the rationale and the thinking of the Greek people; obviously, Greece has been through difficult times in the last 10 years or so. How much is the sentiment regarding Guaido shared among Greek politicians?

    Dimitris Rapidis: As for the politicians, there is not much interest in what’s going on, to be honest, in Venezuela. There’re some media, mainly backed by the front opposition party, the conservative New Democracy, that are trying to raise this issue in the public debate; but actually, we’re far away from Venezuela, we’re at the farthest corner of the European Union, we’ve got different issues that we’re entangled with. But the fact remains that no matter the geographical distance we have with Venezuela, the government does believe that there must be a peaceful solution in Venezuela and that the European Union has to support this process. They have to support these efforts to restore democracy and to restore the institutions in the country.

    Sputnik: Can you explain the EU unity, or supposed unity, in the backing of Guaido in Venezuela? How much are they acting on their will in this situation? Regarding the EU stance, you’ve got Italy, you got yourself; I’ve been listening to various commentators on Twitter who’re saying they’re against this support and intervention as well. So there’re pockets of indifference to this sort of decision by the EU; it’s not a wholesale decision by any means, is it?

    Dimitris Rapidis: No, not at all. It’s quite clear in terms of political analysis and also, strategically speaking, why these member states rush to support Guaido in Venezuela. It’s also interesting to see the timing between the time Guaido proclaimed himself the interim president and what was the lapse of time between this statement and the statements of President Trump, for instance, or Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, who rushed to support Guaido. To be honest with you, as far as I know, for the time being Maduro is the elected president of Venezuela, he is the legitimate president of the country; this is also the stance of the United Nations and General Secretary António Guterres. And, regarding all this mess that has been going on for quite a lot of months in Venezuela, I do believe that the European Union should have a more mature and more firm stance in favour of democracy.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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