The European Parliament will Recognize Guaido as President of Venezuela this Thursday

Mauren Barriga and Leonardo Muñoz, and the Spaniard Gonzalo Domínguez, detained in Caracas. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio / EFE, Brussels / Caracas | January 31, 2019 – The European Parliament will vote this Thursday on a resolution recognizing Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela after noting that Maduro “has publicly rejected the possibility of holding new presidential elections” following the European Union’s (EU) request.

Sources from the popular and socialist parties in the European Parliament, the two major parties, confirmed to EFE that they will vote in favor of this resolution, thus giving it sufficient support to pass among the parliamentarians.

“The European Parliament recognizes Juan Guaidó as the legitimate interim president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela according to the Constitution of Venezuela (…) and expresses its absolute support for his road map,” the Parliament said in a resolution that will be voted on Thursday to which EFE obtained access today.

The resolution drawn up is also enjoined by the parties of conservatives and reformers (ECR) and the liberal group (ALDE), although liberal sources suggest that some members of parliament from this group may not join.

The text also urges the head of European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, and the EU member states to recognize Guaidó “until new and free, transparent and credible presidential elections can be held to restore democracy.”

The resolution condemns the violence and repression in Venezuela and rejects “any proposal or attempt that may involve the use of violence to resolve the crisis.”

Likewise, it also reiterates that the National Assembly is “the only legitimate democratic organism in Venezuela” and stresses that its powers “must be restored and respected,” including “the safety of its members.”

The resolution urges Mogherini to “contact the countries of the region and other key actors to create a contact group that can mediate to reach agreement to request presidential elections based on an agreed timetable, equal conditions for all actors, transparency and international observers

Meanwhile, in Venezuela, an EFE team of reporters has disappeared in Caracas after being arrested by the authorities ant, according to the president of the agency, Fernando Garea, find themselves the offices of Sebin (Venezuelan intelligence services). It concerns Colombian photographer Leonardo Muñoz, the Spanish Gonzalo Domínguez Loeda and the Colombian Maurén Barriga Vargas.

The three are part of a team that traveled from Bogotá, Colombia to cover the crisis in Venezuela.

According to EFE journalists in Caracas, members of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin) came tonight to the Agency’s offices, where they arrested Barriga and Dominguez and said that Muñoz had been detained by the Military Counterintelligence Directorate (DGCIM by it spanish acronym).

The Sebin agents ordered Dominguez and Barriga to accompany them to the hotel where they were staying in the Venezuelan capital in order to, according to the agents, collect their belongings, and took them away under arrest for questioning.

The director of EFE in Caracas, Nélida Fernández, along with a lawyer followed Domínguez and Barriga to the Sebin offices to try to clear up the situation with the Venezuelan authorities and obtain their release as soon as possible.

The EFE team traveled to Caracas on January 17 to help cover the Venezuelan crisis and upon arrival at the Maiquetía airport they identified themselves as journalists, upon which the intelligence, immigration and customs authorities allowed them to enter without restrictions after subjecting them to several security background checks of nearly three hours.

However, when photographer Muñoz was heading this morning to cover demonstrations against the Nicolás Maduro regime in the Caracas neighborhood of Petare, contact was lost with him and the driver who accompanied him, the Venezuelan José Salas.

For that reason, the Government of Colombia requested on Wednesday the “immediate release” of Leonardo Muñoz, whose whereabouts until recently were unknown.

The “Government of Colombia rejects the arrest in Venezuela of the Colombian national Leonardo Muñoz, photographer of the EFE Agency and demands his immediate release. We demand respect for the life of our countryman,” said Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo on Twitter.

When they traveled to Caracas, the three EFE journalists had plane tickets to return to Bogotá on February 7.

Fernando Garea, in an interview with Spanish Television, has expressed concern that the time difference resulted in no news in the last hours about the situation concerning the reporters and has assured that the intention of the Venezuelan regime is to prevent witnesses from seeing what is happening

Translated by Wilfredo Díaz Echevarria


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