US envoy, Venezuela’s Guaido praise Netanyahu for backing ‘forces of freedom & democracy’ Israel has moved to recognize Juan Guaido’s claim to power in Venezuela, after Washington spearheaded the regime change effort, urging those undecided to “pick a side,” and its EU allies issued an ultimatum to Nicolas Maduro.

“Israel joins the United States, Canada, most of the countries of Latin America and countries in Europe in recognizing the new leadership in Venezuela,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a brief statement on Sunday. However, unlike many of those who denounced President Nicolas Maduro as a ‘dictator’ and ‘usurper’ and urged him to step aside, Netanyahu stopped short of openly calling for any action that might fuel internal conflict in Venezuela.

“Appreciation and kudos to the Government of Israel for standing with the people of Venezuela and the forces of freedom and democracy,” US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman tweeted upon hearing the news.

Guaido also rushed to thank Netanyahu, specifically noting that the recognition took place on the 74th anniversary of the liberation of the notorious Nazi death camp Auschwitz – just as Venezuela is “also fighting for its freedom.”

Tel Aviv initially seemed reluctant to take sides, but following reported discussions with US State Department officials and after hearing their passionate performance at a UN Security Council session on Saturday, Israel officially supported the Washington-led effort to recognize the opposition politician as the “legitimate” leader of Venezuela.

“No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the UN chamber in what Russia’s envoy Vassily Nebenzia denounced as an brazen “attempt to abuse the Security Council to legitimize the ongoing coup d‘état in Venezuela.”

Almost simultaneously on Saturday, Paris, Berlin, and Madrid  their readiness to recognize the self-proclaimed “interim president” of Venezuela – unless the country holds snap presidential elections within eight days.

But despite the growing international support for the US effort to rid Venezuela of the socialist ‘Maduro regime’, a wide number of nations, including Russia, China, Cuba, and Mexico, view Washington’s actions as blatant interference in the affairs of a sovereign nation. Maduro himself also agreed that problems on an international level must be solved at the negotiating table, rather than ‘humanitarian’ interventions.

“We will continue denouncing US lies, and I will continue to encourage national dialogue because I am up for a dialogue with all the political opposition, with the opposition media,” the Venezuelan president said. “I think dialogue should prevail.”

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