Having found that Nicolas Maduro no longer has the support of the people or the armed forces, the European Parliament recognised by a large majority, Juan Guaido, in his capacity as President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, as provisional head of state. The vote was bipartisan. Both leftists and far-right coalition members voted for the man who, a few days ago, just elected leader of parliament, proclaimed himself president.
The provision, that is neither binding nor has legislative value, was approved by 439 votes in favour, 104 against and 88 abstentions. Among the abstainers were the parliamentarians of the Italian League and M5S (five-star movement), because they have not yet come to an agreement on the future of Venezuela. In fact, foreign policy must be clear and united, there cannot be differences of opinion among the majority parties.
So far, the League sympathises with Guaidò because there are 125,000 Italians and two million natives of Italian extraction who are suffering in Venezuela under the current regime. On the other hand, the M5S is in favour of Maduro, because he was elected by the people. Italian foreign minister, Enzo Moavero, said in the Senate that the Italian government has given full support to Guaido, despite the conflicts in the coalition, because it is not possible for Italy to support a dictatorship.
The European Parliament is the first international institution to take a clear stance in favour of the new political course in Venezuela and calls on individual countries to declare themselves on the side of the Venezuelan people's freedom. Parliamentarians are urging the European Union to do the same and consider Guaido as the legitimate president of the country until new free, transparent and credible elections to restore democracy take place.
European parliamentarians fear that any disagreements will cause unnecessary clashes which can lead to unrest in which, as has already happened, some innocent citizen loses his or her life, or even civil war breaks out.
In recent days during the protest against Maduro in a popular district of Caracas, Laura Gallo was arrested. She is an Italian activist who is still held in prison, despite the magistrate ordering her release. Also arrested were some foreign journalists, including two correspondents, a photojournalist and an EFE driver from the Spanish news agency.
While Guaido has blocked Venezuelan assets abroad to prevent the dictator and his accomplices from escaping, the United States has announced new and harsher sanctions against the regime. They froze a credit of seven billion dollars already accrued to the PDVSA, the national oil company, and part of 11 billion dollars for future payments to the CITGO refinery that operates in US territory.
This huge capital sum is already available to Juan Guaido but only symbolically because it is money that cannot enter the country. If not rescinded, the financial embargo will soon cause the economy to collapse.
Meanwhile, food and basic necessities are beginning to run scarce in Caracas and other cities. In pharmacies and even in hospitals there is no medicine. Therefore, if the political situation is not resolved as soon as possible it is the population who will suffer the most, rather than the hierarchy of the regime.
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