The situation With Venezuela Has Put Europe at Standstill

31.01.2019

The refusal of Nicolas Maduro to hold early presidential elections put the European Union at a standstill, as well as the choice between a soft and hard reaction to the coup attempt in Venezuela supported by leading countries - members of the community

The European Union, which acted as an accomplice of the United States during the coup in Venezuela, in order to muffle its own contradictions with Washington at the expense of Caracas and to demonstrate its great power, had problems. Following the refusal of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to submit an ultimatum to the leading European countries to announce early presidential elections in the country during the week, which was not expected in Brussels, the foreign ministers of EU member states are going to Bucharest today to try to find a way out of the impasse. In fact, they are now required to take decisive action against the Maduro regime, to which the EU is not ready because of the existing internal differences about what should be taken.

A different vision of the future EU policy is present both at the level of individual member countries and in the community leadership. There are indeed ultimatums of some countries, in particular France, Germany, and Spain. At the same time, the statement of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini on behalf of the European Union is somewhat different.

The essence of Mogherini’s position and those who support her in the EU is that if Maduro refuses to leave, he should not be forced to do so by means of coercive pressure, leaving the Venezuelan citizens to solve the problems existing in the country.

Dissenting opinion of Greece - but for how long?

In addition to the above countries, the Netherlands and Britain insist on a hard course against Caracas, in particular, against - Greece. Her leftist government, which has an instinctive sympathy for Maduro and his regime, needs everyone to demonstrate that Greece is not a colony of creditors, but an independent country. Therefore, in order to persuade Athens to take the side of the majority, the Greeks will have to “rally”. In the meantime, they demonstrate integrity, as well as common sense.

On Tuesday, the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece, Yorgos Katrugalos, called on Venezuelans for a political dialogue, which Maduro proposes to solve the problems existing in the country. Moreover, he opposed the intervention of the army. Thus, Athens actually supports Maduro, who calls for dialogue, in a crisis in Venezuela, and does not support the pro-American opposition, who does not want to talk with him about anything and demands his speedy departure.

Berlin position

In contrast, in Berlin, it is believed that only the National Assembly can provide new presidential elections. As Niels Annen (SPD), the state minister at the German Foreign Ministry, told the Deutsche Welle official interview, Berlin considers the Venezuelan parliament "the only legitimate institution." Germany has no confidence in President Maduro since he “controls all the country's institutions,” which gives him the opportunity to “dominate the elections and falsify them.” “We are counting on the loud voices of our Latin American friends,” as the situation is unacceptable and continues to deteriorate, Annen added.

Certain differences exist in the European Parliament. Christ Stylianidis, European Commissioner for Crisis Response and Humanitarian Aid, who spoke on Wednesday on behalf of Mogherini, stressed that "military intervention will only aggravate the situation," therefore "the solution to the crisis must come from the citizens of Venezuela." True, he did not rule out that the EU could take additional measures if early presidential elections are not announced in Venezuela, which President Maduro, whose term of office expires in 2025, is not going to hold. However, for a sharper position, above all recognition of the opposition as the legitimate authority in the country, a consensus in the EU is needed, which is not yet the case.

There is no disagreement only that of the two existing parliaments in Venezuela, Strasbourg recognizes the National Assembly, of which the President of the European Parliament Anthony Tajani assured the Venezuelan oppositionists. But this is less than recognizing the usurpation of power in Venezuela by its chairman, Juan Guaydo, behind whom are the United States, whose president, Donald Trump, has already congratulated his Venezuelan puppet "on the historic assumption of the presidency."

Let's see how the European Union will come out of this situation. In part, this will depend on the United States. If Washington agrees to the EU’s right to vote in deciding the fate of the Venezuelan energy sector (European oil companies rightly fear that all the “trophies” of Maduro’s shift will go to the United States), this will be one conversation. If not, then another.

Europeans are interested in an early and peaceful end to the Venezuelan drama so that feral refugees do not destabilize their Caribbean territories. France, Britain, the Netherlands have their possessions in the region, some of which are fairly close to Venezuela. Alarming news from Trinidad and Tobago about the emergence of Venezuelan piracy in the surrounding waters is a serious warning for the EU.