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Spain says Maduro has ‘no intention’ of negotiating

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Wednesday Venezuela’s leader Nicolas Maduro had “no intention of negotiating” but rejected any foreign military intervention in the economically-strapped country.

His comments come as Juan Guaido, Venezuela’s opposition leader who declared himself interim president and is recognised by about 50 countries including Spain, is openly defying Maduro by trying to bring in humanitarian aid, to no avail so far.

Maduro “has no intention of negotiating” and has used past mediations between his government and the opposition as “a tool to gain time and remain in power,” Sanchez told parliament.

He “does not want sincere negotiations,” said Spain’s socialist leader, who earlier this month recognised Guaido as interim leader of Venezuela after Maduro rejected pressure to call snap general elections.

According to Sanchez, Venezuela’s presidential elections in May 2018, which were largely boycotted by the opposition, were not “free, fair or credible, and therefore Nicolas Maduro does not have any democratic legitimacy.”

Despite this, Sanchez firmly rejected any foreign military intervention to topple Maduro, which the United States has touted as a possibility.

We express “our rejection of any non-peaceful solution, and particularly any foreign military intervention in Venezuela,” he told lawmakers.

“There are some mistakes of the past that must not be committed again.”

The US has been criticised for its past involvement in regime change in Latin America.

Sanchez said calling “free, democratic, transparent elections with full guarantees” is the “only possible solution to the deep crisis that the country is experiencing.”