President of Spain Pedro Sanchez press briefing, 4 February 2019

As you know, today, Monday 4 February, is the end of the eight-day deadline imposed by Spain, together with its European partners, on the regime of [Nicolás] Maduro to call for free, democratic and transparent presidential elections.

Since that deadline has now expired, without the regime of Maduro having taken any steps in that direction, the Government of Spain hereby announces that it officially recognises the Speaker of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Mr Guaidó Márquez, as the Interim President of Venezuela.

Sanchez briefs the press on Spain’s stand on Venezuela

The democratic legitimacy of Juan Guaidó emanates from his office as Speaker of the Venezuelan National Assembly, the legislative body resulting from the last free and democratic elections recognised by the international community as such.

I wish to state for the record that the Government of Spain has publicly announced, on many occasions, its defence of multilateralism as an essential tool for the peaceful resolution of conflicts. I wish to expressly reiterate that commitment today with specific facts.

Firstly, the Government of Spain has worked side-by-side with the majority of European countries . . . with the aim of recognising Juan Guaidó as Interim President of Venezuela . . .

Secondly, the Government of Spain has been in constant diplomatic contact with each and every one of the countries in Ibero-America with one essential goal: to act in defence of the interests of the people of Venezuela. . .

I wish to once again declare that the common position of the EU has been achieved on the initiative of the Government of Spain .  .  .

Maduro and Guaidó

Recognition of President Guaidó has a clear goal, which . . . is to call elections as soon as possible; elections that must be free, democratic, with guarantees and without exclusions. Elections in which the people of Venezuela decide on their own with their voice and their vote, without fear, pressure or threats.  .  .

Venezuela must be responsible for its own destiny. And it falls to the international community to help, to respect the results of the democratic process and to verify that this takes place with all the guarantees necessary.

Consequently, the Government of Spain will support and encourage the International Contact Group set up by the European Union – based upon an initiative from the Government of Spain – to accompany Venezuela in this process.

. . . I can also announce to you that the Govenrment of Spain intends to promote, through the European Union and also within the framework of the United Nations, a Humanitarian Aid Plan to urgently alleviate the serious situation that Venezuela currently finds itself in. . .

Venezuelan National Assembly

The Government of Spain has paid, pays and will always pay close attention to the situation of the large Spanish colony that resides in Venezuela. This is an absolute priority for the Govenrment of Spain.

We are also closely monitoring the interests of Spanish companies located in Venezuela. We all share with the people of Venezuela the wish to see a political framework of stability, democracy and liberty.

In short, the ties that unite Spain and Latin America are very deep. There is nothing that takes place there which does not affect us, the people and Government of Spain. That is why the government will work to ensure that full democracy returns to Venezuela.

Full democracy means the primacy of human rights. Full democracy means political plurality. Full democracy means that there are no political prisoners in Venezuela. And full democracy means free, transparent elections with all due guarantees. . .

Venezuela is a sister and much loved nation and can count on Spain at this crucial time.


Unofficial translation of the original briefing in Spanish


Featured image/Paulino Moran, CC BY-SA2.0
Pedro Sanchez/Pool Moncloa-Borja Puig de la Bellacasa
Maduro & Guaidó/ZiaLater Kingsif, CCO 1.0
National Assemby/Wilfredor via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA4.0