Nicolas Maduro Rejects Election Deadline, Israel Backs Opponent

While Nicolas Maduro's government in Venezuela looks increasingly isolated internationally, it retains the support of China and Russia.

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Nicolas Maduro Rejects Election Deadline, Israel Backs Opponent

Venezuela has sunk into turmoil under Nicolas Maduro with food shortages and protests.


Istanbul: 

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro rejected an international ultimatum to call elections within eight days and said opposition leader Juan Guaido violated the constitution by declaring himself interim leader.

Israel on Sunday joined a growing list of countries led by the United States that back Guaido's claim to the presidency on the basis that Maduro's second-term election victory was fraudulent.

Maduro, in an interview with CNN Turk aired on Sunday, also said he was open to dialogue and that meeting U.S. President Donald Trump was improbable but not impossible. The broadcaster dubbed the interview from Spanish into Turkish.

Washington on Saturday urged the world to "pick a side" on Venezuela and financially disconnect from Maduro's government.

While Maduro's government looks increasingly isolated internationally, it retains the support of China and Russia.

Venezuela has sunk into turmoil under Maduro with food shortages and protests amid an economic and political crisis that has sparked mass emigration and inflation that is seen rising to 10 million percent this year.

Britain, Germany, France and Spain all said they would recognize Guaido if Maduro failed to call fresh elections within eight days, an ultimatum Russia said was "absurd" and the Venezuelan foreign minister called "childlike."

Washington, Canada, most Latin American nations and many European states have labeled Maduro's second-term election win last May fraudulent. The successor to late President Hugo Chavez cruised to victory after blocking the main opposition candidates from running. Turnout was low.

"Israel joins the United States, Canada, most of the countries of Latin America and countries in Europe in recognizing the new leadership in Venezuela," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement.

Maduro retains the loyalty of the armed forces, though Venezuela's top military envoy to the United States on Saturday defected to Guaido.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had voiced his support for Maduro in a phone call on Thursday.



(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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