March 18, 2019
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Greek, Bolivian leaders stress opposition to Venezuela military intervention

Athens, Mar 15 (efe-epa).- Greece's prime minister and the Bolivian president on Friday underlined their shared opinion that military intervention in Venezuela as a means to end the ongoing socio-political and economic crisis in the Latin American nation was not an option.

Alexis Tsipras welcomed Evo Morales to the Greek capital following the latter's participation in a conference on the future of global leftist politics.

"History teaches us that there have been many foreign interventions, such as Libya and Iraq, and they never offer a solution but instead they abolish democracy," Morales, a left-wing leader, told an Athens press conference alongside the head of the Greek government.

"The only solution for Venezuela is dialogue, which should be supported by the European Union too," he added.

Tsipras, leader of the left-wing Syriza party, said the Venezuelan people should decide their own future.

Morales is one of the only South American leaders to express his backing for Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela's cornered president, and has denounced what he has termed United States meddling in Venezuelan affairs.

The Greek PM said he would work to petition the EU to pursue dialogue.

Several EU nations have recognized Juan Guaidó as the legitimate interim president of Venezuela.

Guaidó openly challenged Maduro's leadership on Jan. 23 when he declared himself acting leader of the crisis-stricken nation with the aim of scheduling fresh elections.

He first sought the backing of the United States, which has become a vocal supporter of the opposition in Venezuela.

The EU has set up a contact group with several regional governments, including Bolivia, Mexico and Uruguay, which aims to schedule free elections in Venezuela within a period of 90 days.

Maduro has declined to call elections, claiming the presidential ballot held in 2018, which he won, was legitimate.

The EU criticized that vote for alleged widespread irregularities. The polling came soon after the pro-Maduro Supreme Court in Venezuela stripped recognition from the nation's parliament, which is led by Guaidó, and created a separate chamber that functions in parallel.

Venezuela's opposition does not recognize Maduro's May 2018 re-election victory and his new six-year term in office that began on Jan. 10.

The United States is in the vanguard of the roughly 50 countries, including the major European powers, with the exception of Italy, that have recognized Guaidó as Venezuela's head of state.

Russia, China and India are among the dozens of nations that still regard Maduro as the legitimate president of the South American nation.

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