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Maduro refuses ultimatum from European countries calling for free elections in Venezuela

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01:25 - Source: CNN
On GPS: Venezuela's military kingmakers
Caracas, Venezuela CNN —  

Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has refused to accept an ultimatum from European countries calling for free elections.

Last week, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain gave Maduro until Sunday to call new elections or they would recognize the country’s self-declared interim president Juan Guaido as president.

“We don’t accept ultimatums from anyone,” Maduro said in an interview with Spanish private channel LaSexta on Sunday. “It’s as if I went to the EU and said, ‘I give you seven days to recognize the republic of Catalonia or if not, we will take measures.’ No, no. International politics cannot base itself on ultimatums. That is the epoch of imperialism or colonies.”

Maduro went on to question why the European Union should dictate political norms to his country.

“Why does the European Union tell a country in the world that already had presidential elections in accordance to its constitution, its laws, its institutions, with the international observers, that they have to repeat their presidential elections? Why? Because their right allies in Venezuela didn’t win,” he said.

Maduro also refused to accept the humanitarian crisis in his country.

“Venezuela does not have a humanitarian crisis. Venezuela has a political crisis. Venezuela has an economic crisis. We have a huge economic war!” he said.

As Maduro shows no willingness to relinquish power amid defections and calls for his ouster, Guaido outlined an opposition road map Sunday.

The main points of Guaido’s plan concern humanitarian aid and Venezuela’s assets.

Maduro’s critics claim he has ushered the once-wealthy oil nation into economic collapse and a humanitarian disaster. The crisis is only exacerbated by his alleged refusal to permit aid into the country, despite a shortage of food and medicine, they say.

How to help Venezuelans

In a series of tweets Sunday, Guaido laid out the three steps to his road map:

  • Create a coalition of national and international interests to facilitate humanitarian aid to three collection points;
  • Demand the military permit aid into the country;
  • Ask Europe to protect Venezuela’s assets abroad.

Guaido said Saturday that humanitarian aid would be sent to collection points in Cucuta, Colombia; Brazil and an unspecified Caribbean island.