By Beyza Binnur Donmez
The ongoing government crisis in Venezuela has split the world into two camps.
Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10, when President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.
Tensions climbed across the country when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself acting president on Jan. 23.
U.S. President Donald Trump issued a statement recognizing Guaido, the leader of Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly, as the country’s interim president.
Brazil and the Organization of American States recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s leader prior to his formal announcement.
Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Honduras, Peru and Paraguay have followed the suit.
Bolivia, Cuba and Mexico were the only countries in the region which continue to recognize Maduro’s presidency as leftist allies. Also, Mexico, once a member of the Lima Group, is willing to mediate in Venezuela’s political conflict.
The Lima Group is a body of 12 Latin American countries.
A total of 19 European Union member states including Spain, Germany, France and Britain joined Monday in recognizing Guaido as president after an eight-day period for convening free, democratic and transparent elections in Venezuela expired.
Other nations recognizing Guaido as interim president are Portugal, Denmark, Holland, Hungary, Austria, Finland, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Sweden and Croatia.
Only two countries in Europe — Italy and Greece — are resisting the adoption of a joint position with the EU in favor of Guaido.
Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio has defended his refusal to support Guaido despite differences within Italy’s ruling coalition government, saying he hasn’t been elected by the people of the South American nation.
Georgios Katrougalos, Greece’s alternate foreign minister, also said that the solution in current crisis is dialogue.
Israel and Australia also recognized Guaido as acting president.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced solidarity with Maduro, a day after the U.S. move for Guaido, saying that Turkey never sides with coup plotters.
Russia and China both opposed the U.S. call to support Guaido and condemned any interference in Venezuela’s affairs.
Iran has also thrown its weight behind Maduro.
“Iran opposes all foreign interference in Venezuela’s domestic affairs,” Bahram Qasemi, a spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, said in a statement.
South Africa is against any attempts at “undue or unconstitutional change” of government in Venezuela, the country’s envoy to the UN Security Council said.
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that the global body would not join any side in discussions involving the political crisis in Venezuela.
Benedict Wachira, head of the Communist Party of Kenya (CPK), condemned the U.S. intervention in Venezuela, terming it wrong and undiplomatic.
India called for dialogue among stakeholders in Venezuela.
Palestine described Guaido’s self-declaration as a “coup attempt” and threw its support behind President Maduro.