Under pressure

Some of the European countries are putting the arm on Maduro.

Spain, Germany, France and the UK have warned Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro that he must call elections within eight days – or they will officially recognise the opposition.

Mr Maduro is under pressure after his rival Juan Guaidó declared himself “acting president” on Wednesday.

Venezuela, or rather Maduro’s people, told them to fuck off.

On Saturday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wrote on Twitter: “Spain has a responsibility to Latin America… we do not seek to change or remove governments, we want democracy and free elections in Venezuela.”

France and Germany also issued similar statements, in what looked like a co-ordinated demand that elections be held in Venezuela.

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the election in Venezuela had been “deeply flawed”, repeating his view that Mr Maduro was “not the legitimate leader”.

Kind of true here too, what with Comey’s October surprise and Wikileaks and the Russian thumb on the scale and the 3 million gap in the popular vote. Maybe Europe could help us out while they’re at it?

Russia, a UN Security Council member, has said foreign support for Mr Guaidó violates international law and is a “direct path to bloodshed”. China, Mexico and Turkey have also publicly backed Mr Maduro.

For once we’re not allying with Russia, China and Turkey, but supporting Guaidó with the other liberal states.

Discussions at the UN on Saturday were tense as nations clashed on how to resolve the crisis in Venezuela.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Russia and China of “propping up a failed regime” and said it was time to “support the Venezuelan people immediately”.

“No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem,” he said.

Pompeo works for the guy who just shut the government down and threw nearly a million workers into instant poverty in a futile attempt to build a giant racist provocation in Mexico’s face. Speaking of mayhem.

]Maduro] was re-elected to a second term last year – but the elections were controversial, with many opposition candidates barred from running or jailed.

Yes that will tend to make an election controversial.

The National Assembly argues that the presidential position is actually vacant because the election was unfair – and that under the constitution this means that Mr Guaidó, as head of the National Assembly, should take over as acting president instead.

Good luck to them.

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