Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro rejected Sunday a call by European countries to call snap elections after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the Latin American country’s interim leader.
Maduro said in an interview with Spanish television station Sexta that he would not “cave in to pressure” from those calling for his departure.
“They are trying to corner us with ultimatums to force us into an extreme situation of confrontation,” Maduro said.
Seven EU states had given Maduro a Sunday deadline to call snap presidential elections or see them recognize Guaido as interim president.
Guaido, already recognized by the United States, Canada, Australia and several Latin American countries, said Sunday he would lobby the European Union for badly-needed humanitarian aid to a nation wracked by economic crisis.
“We are going to exercise our powers to deal with the crisis, restore democracy and achieve freedom,” the 35-year-old National Assembly leader said on Twitter.
Guaido was also expected to announce a date for the arrival of the so-called humanitarian aid from the US — a path President Maduro believes will lead to a US-led military intervention.
In Washington, US President Donald Trump warned that military intervention remains “an option” for dealing with the crisis in Venezuela.