19:21 GMT14 April 2021
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    MADRID (Sputnik) - Venezuela should hold early elections, and the European Union should form a position on this issue as soon as possible, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell has stated.

    "We should preserve European unity if we want this election to be held so that Venezuelan people can express their opinion in this election with all guarantees respected… We want unity in actions to ensure that a free, democratic will of Venezuelan people [is expressed] with respected guarantees. We will see if we can do it… It is important to conduct the election", the foreign minister said, adding that the election should be organized as soon as possible.

    Borrell added that there should be close cooperation with the current Venezuelan government, as it is impossible to ignore it.

    He also noted, when commenting the statement by French President Emmanuel Macron about European support for the reestablishment of democracy in Venezuela in the wake of the "illegitimate" 2018 election, that he does not consider "the regime to be legitimate as this legitimacy comes from an election which we [Spain] do not recognize."

    "There are people dead, there was violence, we cannot stand [on the same position] as the day before yesterday, and we must avoid the worsening of the situation. This requires an intervention process — to ensure the only possible way out — an election", Borrell stressed.

    The foreign minister noted that over 200,000 Spanish citizens are currently in Venezuela and their safety is of high concern for Spanish authorities.

    READ MORE: EU Supports 'Re-Establishment of Democracy' in Venezuela — Macron

    The statement comes after the opposition-run Venezuelan National Assembly on 22 January adopted a statement declaring Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro a usurper. A day later, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the country's interim president at a mass rally in the Venezuelan capital.

    So far, the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Georgia, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay and Peru have recognized Guaido as Venezuela's interim president. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, European Council President Donald Tusk and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini have expressed their support.


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