The European Union’s Venezuela policy is coming closer to reflecting the reality in Caracas. On Wednesday, the EU said it no longer recognizes Juan Guaido as president of Venezuela after he lost his position in the country’s national assembly after recent elections.
In January 2019, the US and many of its allies recognized Juan Guaido as president of Venezuela despite the fact that Nicolas Maduro held the office. Guaido’s coup attempts failed miserably, and his calls for US intervention in Venezuela lost him what little support he had in the country.
According to Reuters, EU diplomats wanted to make it clear that the EU still does not recognize Maduro. In a statement, the EU said Guaido’s self-declared role as interim president has no “institutional standing” since he is no longer the head of Venezuela’s national assembly.
The EU also threatened new sanctions on Venezuela in its statement. The Trump administration’s failed regime change effort in Caracas came along with crippling sanctions that decimated Venezuela’s economy and oil sector.
The US still recognizes Guaido as president of Venezuela, but there are reports that Venezuela policy could change under Biden. In December, a report from Bloomberg said the incoming Biden administration is preparing for potential talks with Maduro. The report said Guaido had been trying to arrange a phone call with Biden since late November, without success.