In an interview with Italy’s TV2000 network, Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Manlio Di Stefano warned against a Libya-style regime change. Di Stefano stated in contrast with the European Union, he does not recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president:
“Today, the greatest interest we have is to avoid a new war in Venezuela. Regime change failed in Libya and must not be attempted again, as it turned out to be a mistake. We must prevent this from happening in Venezuela.”
Guaido, the elected leader of the opposition-held National Assembly has declared himself as the interim president of Venezuela on 23 January in an effort to oust Nicolas Maduro.
MEPs have given their full support to an opposition controlled parliament and the EU called for new elections to restore democracy in Venezuela.
Di Stefano denounced countries that are backing Guaido and discouraged further meddling with the internal policies of Venezuela.
The Deputy Foreign Minister further added: “It is called the principle of non-interference and is recognized by the United Nations.”
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini also criticized EU’s meddling with Venezuela’s internal politics, however, Salvini called for fresh elections:
“I am against exporting democracy but so many Italians living in Venezuela and Venezuelans living in Italy claim that Maduro foments violence and flouts the law.
“It’s clear that there is hunger, a shortage of medicines, lawlessness, violence, repression and a lack of democracy. So the sooner Venezuelans can freely return to the ballot box, the better it will be for everyone.”
Meanwhile, Daniel McAdams, director of the US Ron Paul Institute, warned that the U.S and its European allies were pushing Venezuela towards a civil war.
“Here we go again. This is like Syria redux. This is exactly what happened in Syria and in Libya. They’re playing the exact same game over and over again,” he said.
“Obviously, the goal is the same – the overthrow of the government, the destruction of the country. The EU and US policy right now is leading directly toward a massive civil war in Venezuela.”