United Nations will not join any group on Venezuela crisis talks: Guterres

United Nations will not join any group on Venezuela crisis talks: Guterres

The Russian presidential spokesman thus responded to a journalist's question about the circumstances under which Russia could recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the republic's interim president. He accused the US of - what he called - an aggressive stance towards Venezuela.

But in an interview with Spanish television station Sexta broadcast on Sunday evening, Maduro said he would not "cave in to pressure" from those calling for his departure.

"From today, we will spare no effort in helping all Venezuelans achieve freedom, prosperity and harmony", Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said, urging both fair elections and humanitarian aid.

The British Government was joined by Austria, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany and Spain in pledging its support to Mr Guaido.

Russia, one of the main allies of Maduro's regime, slammed what it dubbed European "interference" in the oil-rich but impoverished Latin American country, saying it was an attempt "to legitimise usurped power".

Maduro, who has maintained the critical support of the military, is facing widespread calls from some of Venezuela's neighbours and others to resign after last year's disputed presidential vote in the OPEC nation of 30 million people.

Mr Guaido, who leads the National Assembly, declared himself caretaker leader last month in a move splitting global powers and bringing Venezuelans onto the streets.

"Handing out ultimatums, sanctions, freezing Venezuelan goods..."

President Maduro has rejected offers of aid from the USA, having told his supporters on Saturday that Venezuela was not "a country of beggars".

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Western Hemisphere nations were set to add to the pressure Monday during a meeting in Canada of the Lima Group, which includes 13 countries that have been vocal in denouncing Maduro.

The embattled Maduro, whose years in power have seen Venezuela sink into an economic crisis that the United Nations estimates has led as many as three million Venezuelans to flee the country and brought on widespread food shortages, has refused to step down despite accusations that his country's most recent election was rigged.

"We are not beggars", Maduro said on Venezuelan state TV.

Canada and the Lima Group have backed Guaido, the opposition leader who's the head of Venezuela's legislature, as Maduro's replacement.

"The United States wants to return to the 20th century of military coups, subordinate puppet governments and the looting of resources", he said, adding Trump would leave the White House "stained with blood" if there is a military intervention. "I hope to receive a positive response", he said.

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez steps out of the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, September 12, 2018.

The meeting ended with the announcement of the institution of a "contact group" between the European Union and South American countries, set to meet for the first time on Thursday this week in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Guaido on Twitter expressed his gratitude to the European Union leaders for supporting Venezuela's fight for freedom.

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