EU cautions against military intervention in Venezuela

UNITED NATIONS, March 13 (NNN-EFE) — The European Union’s top foreign policy official said here that the bloc opposes military action in crisis-wracked Venezuela and rejects the notion of seeking to impose a solution to the oil-rich country’s woes.

“We believe that no military development, from inside or outside of the country, would be acceptable,” Federica Mogherini said during a Security Council meeting on cooperation between the EU and the United Nations.

“And a solution cannot be, and should never be, imposed from the outside,” the EU official said.

On Jan. 23, amid an ongoing economic crisis marked by shortages and hyperinflation, the speaker of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly, Juan Guaido, proclaimed himself acting president.

The opposition, supported by the United States and some EU and Latin American countries, insist that last May’s re-election of leftist President Nicolas Maduro lacked legitimacy.

Washington and nearly 50 other governments have recognized Guaido, while China, Russia and India are among the more than 100 others that continue to recognize Maduro as Venezuela’s head of state.

“The crisis that affects the country has political and institutional causes. It’s not a natural disaster. Its solution needs to be peaceful, political and democratic,” Mogherini said.

For this reason, she said, the EU has created an International Contact Group, comprised of both Latin American and European nations, “to help create the conditions for a political process that would lead to free and fair presidential elections.”

The Italian diplomat said the EU would continue to work with UN agencies “to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches those in need inside and outside of the country following the key principles of humanitarian law, and avoiding any politicization of the aid delivery.”

The opposition said Venezuela was going through a “complex humanitarian emergency” and has reached out to the international community for help.

Guaido, for his part, contends that it would be difficult for humanitarian aid to reach Venezuela and has accused Maduro’s government of burning buses carrying antibiotics and food that were attempting to cross the border from Colombia on Feb. 23.

A story published last weekend in The New York Times, however, said that after analyzing videos and images of the incident, it appeared the fire started when a Molotov cocktail was hurled by a Guaido supporter. — NNN-EFE