Ecuador clarified its position on the political situation in Venezuela Thursday, saying it will not support outside military action to depose President Nicolas Maduro.
“We strongly disagree with suggestions of outside interference, particularly military intervention, in Venezuela,” says Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Valencia who is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We believe that Venezuelans must have the option to decide their future through a democratic path.”
Valencia’s comments followed statements by the governments of Brazil and the United States that military action against Maduro has not been ruled out.
Valencia said it was necessary to clarify President Lenin Moreno’s position who, on Wednesday, said he supported the claim of Juan Guaidó to the presidency of Venezuela. Guaidó is president of Venezuela’s National Assembly.
“We support Guaidó as interim president only until free and fair elections can be held,” Valencia said. “We realize that the election of Nicolás Maduro was not democratic and we believe the people of Venezuela should have the right to choose a leader without restrictions on who can be a candidate.”
Valencia said that Ecuador supports a “process of dialog” between all political interests in Venezuela, coordinated by the United Nations. “Under current circumstances military intervention is out of the question,” he said.
Mass demonstration both in opposition and support of Maduro continued for a second day on Thursday in Venezuela with both the government and supporters of Guaidó claiming that the other side committed acts of violence. According to the international Red Cross, 28 people have been killed since Tuesday.
On Thursday, the top brass of Venezuela’s armed forces pledged their support for Maduro and condemned what they called a “coup” by Guaidó and his supporters.