Kremlin stresses only Venezuelans themselves can find way out of crisis

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Speaking at a pro-regime demonstration marking 20 years since his predecessor Hugo Chavez came to power, Maduro reiterated his call to bring forward elections for the opposition-held national assembly.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit to Japan that Guaido "is the legitimate interim president". "They are willing to collaborate and I am sure that this will be one of the most important events, topics, elements in order to accomplish a way out in Venezuela", said Viera-Blanco, who has become the de-facto ambassador to Canada of Venezuela's interim government - whose authority Maduro rejects.

After announcing the Spanish government's official recognition of Guaido, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez urged the 35-year-old National Assembly head to "call elections as soon as possible, elections that have to be free and democratic".

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Venezuelans had suffered enough.

At the news conference closing today's meeting in Ottawa of the Lima Group of nations, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the idea that opposition to Maduro is part of a coup plot organized by western democracies "could not be further from the truth".

The embattled president on Sunday promised peace for Venezuela without specifically responding to Trump. He cautioned that a potential war could mean a new "Vietnam" for Washington.

He added that Venezuela is being "threatened by the biggest powers in the world".

Russian Federation accused European nations of foreign meddling.

The United Nations will not join any group of nations promoting initiatives to resolve the crisis in Venezuela, the UN chief said Monday, indicating he will not attend a meeting in Uruguay this week of several countries.

The Venezuelan government is paying both Russian and Chinese loans with oil.

At least three million people have fled Venezuela since 2015.

"If someday there'll be a coup; if there'll be a United States intervention of Venezuela, then, Senior Pedro Sanchez, your hands will be stained in blood forever and history will remember you as a puppet in service of Donald Trump's policy of interference", President Maduro said in an address, broadcast live on his Twitter page.

Currently, the country is facing a severe economic and humanitarian crisis that will continue to spill over to neighbouring countries.

Among them, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, and the Netherlands all acknowledged Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.

In 2019, the International Monetary Fund predicts that Venezuela's inflation will reach 10 million per cent, and an update to its World Economic Outlook in October estimated that consumer prices in the country would rise by 1,370,000 per cent by the end of 2018.

After the cut-off point was reached on Sunday, European capitals began making announcements on Monday morning. On Monday, Italy reportedly blocked an European Union statement recognizing Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate leader.

Two women using press credentials to access the event briefly interrupted, unfurling a banner and chanting "Hands off Venezuela" before being escorted away by security.

But its governing partner, the League, has backed Mr Guaido.

"We are faced with arbitrary rule, without respect for the guarantees laid down in the Constitution or the highest principles of the dignity of the people", they said.

Spain, Britain and France were among 16 European Union nations to side with Guaido on Monday, following in the footsteps of key regional powers and the United States which has refused to rule out a military intervention in the crisis-wracked country.

In addition to the European pressure, a bloc of Latin American nations and Canada were to meet on Monday seeking to maintain pressure on President Maduro.