FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognized as the country’s rightful interim ruler, attends a session of Venezuela’s National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela July 9, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero/File Photo
ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece will follow the European Union’s line and recognize Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday, in an about-face after the new conservative government took power.
“The government of the Hellenic Republic warmly supports the EU’s efforts … aimed at reaching a peaceful, democratic solution to the crisis for the benefit of the Venezuelan people,” the ministry said.
Greece’s previous leftist-led government had refrained from recognizing Guaido, who in January proclaimed a rival presidency in Venezuela until a new election could be held, in a challenge to president Nicolas Maduro.
Maduro, who took office in 2013 after the death of his mentor Hugo Chavez, has overseen an economic collapse that has left swathes of once-wealthy Venezuela without reliable access to power, water, food and medicines.
Most Western nations have said Maduro’s reelection last year was rigged.
Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Janet Lawrence