19:41 GMT16 May 2021
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    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - Ecuador’s President-Elect Guillermo Lasso on Tuesday called on the international community to increase pressure on the Venezuelan government to guarantee "real democracy" in the country.

    "I believe that we should insist on dialogue and diplomacy, but the international community should think of stronger pressure mechanisms to guarantee real democracy in Venezuela," Lasso said in an interview with Colombian radio station FM.

    Earlier, Lasso told reporters that governments have to deal with those who hold the real power in Venezuela, but noted that he would invite Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, not President Nicolas Maduro, to his inauguration ceremony.

    During the radio interview, Lasso also confirmed that he had received an invitation from President Ivan Duque to visit Colombia, and stressed that Ecuador's new government will provide full support to the country's efforts in preserving democracy and fighting crime.

    Venezuela found itself in political turmoil in January 2019, when mass rallies began against President Maduro and former speaker of the National Assembly, Guaido, illegally proclaimed himself the interim leader of the country. The United States and its allies in Latin America immediately recognized Guaido. Maduro called Guaido a US puppet who was trying to orchestrate a coup so that Washington could take control of Venezuelan resources.
    US, Ecuador, democracy, Nicolas Maduro, Juan Guaido
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