EU at UN warns against military action in Venezuela

United Nations (United States) (AFP) –


European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini warned Tuesday that military action in Venezuela would be unacceptable and that a solution to the crisis should not be "imposed from outside," putting the United States on notice.

Addressing the Security Council, Mogherini said the standoff between President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido must be resolved though political, peaceful and democratic means.

"We believe that no military development, from inside or outside of the country, would be acceptable," Mogherini told a council meeting on cooperation between the European Union and the United Nations.

"And a solution cannot be, and should never be, imposed from the outside."

President Donald Trump has repeatedly said that all options are on the table, refusing to rule out a US military intervention in Venezuela, which is in the grips of an economic meltdown that the opposition blames on the Maduro government.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo late Monday announced that the United States will withdraw all remaining diplomatic personnel from its embassy in Caracas, worsening already tattered relations.

After Guaido declared himself Venezuela's interim president, the United States and key EU countries France, Germany and Britain were among more than 50 countries that recognized him.

Russia and China, two of the five veto-wielding council members along with the US, France and Britain, have denounced the US stance as blatant interference in Venezuela's affairs and continue to back Maduro.

Mogherini recalled that the EU has set up a contact group with Latin American countries to push for a political process that would lead to presidential elections.

"The crisis that affects the country has political and institutional causes. It's not a natural disaster. Its solution needs to be peaceful, political and democratic," said Mogherini.

Millions of Venezuelans already struggling with economic hardship have been left without power for the past four days, which has affected water supplies, transportation and communication.