"David’s sling is in our hands" — Maduro warns Trump

"David’s sling is in our hands" — Maduro warns Trump

The Netherlands has joined the group of nations formally recognising Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the country's interim president.

The United States, Canada and several Latin American countries have disavowed Maduro over his disputed re-election previous year and recognized self-proclaimed President Juan Guaido as the country's rightful leader.

"Individual EU Member States will acknowledge Mr. Juan Guaido, President of the National Assembly, as President ad interim of Venezuela", the proposed joint statement said, calling for "free, fair and democratic presidential elections".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would formally recognise Guaido's chosen envoy as Venezuela's legitimate representative in Canada in a move his government called symbolic.

Asked in Brussels on Monday whether Ireland would follow other major European Union nations in recognising him, Ireland's Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told reporters: "No, our position has been clear".

It is time for a new start, with free and fair elections in accordance with worldwide democratic standards.

But he stopped short of breaking off diplomatic relations with the 16 European countries that recognized his rival Monday, unlike his swift move to cut off ties with the US after it threw its support behind Guaido last month.

Maduro, who has maintained the critical support of the military, has said Guaido is staging a US-directed coup against him.

The global split over Venezuela has left the United Nations in a quandary and Guterres' comments suggested that the world body would remain on the sidelines for now.

Other allies: Bolivia, Cuba, Iran, Mexico, North Korea, Turkey and Uruguay back Maduro as leader.

"Certainly, it's something that's on the - it's an option", Trump said, adding that Maduro requested a meeting months ago.

More news: Venezuela air force general defects from Maduro government

However, not all in the European Union have offered resounding support for the National Assembly leader.

Trump said us military intervention was under consideration in an interview with CBS aired on Sunday.

The countries of the Lima Group completed their meeting in Ottawa on the crisis in Venezuela today - proclaiming the South American nation's opposition leader and its National Assembly as full members of the multi-nation group while ruling out military intervention to end the humanitarian crisis gripping the oil-rich nation.

"Venezuela has to be the master of its own destiny, and it is up to the global community to help and respect the outcome of the democratic process and verify that it takes place with all necessary guarantees", he said.

Maduro is facing calls from a growing chorus of nations, including some of Venezuela's neighbours, to resign in the wake of last year's disputed presidential vote in which he won re-election.

"Venezuelan people deserve a better future. The moment is now", Guaido said in a speech on Monday in Caracas, urging the military to allow humanitarian aid to reach people.

In New York, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said U.N. officials will not participate in global initiatives on Venezuela in order to remain neutral.

Maduro has rejected a US -backed effort to send emergency food and medicine into Venezuela.

Spain has strong links to Venezuela historically, culturally and economically, meaning their government's endorsement of Guaido will be a significant blow to Maduro.

Venezuela's ambassador to Iraq, Jonathan Velasco, became the latest official to recognize opposition leader Guaido this weekend.

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