Listen this article
Despite the divisions in the government over the Venezuelan situation, Italy declared that the country should have free presidential elections
On February 11, a Venezuelan delegation, consisting of the former mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma; the Venezuelan representative in Europe for humanitarian aid, Rodrigo Diamanti and the president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly, Francisco José Sucre, was in Rome on behalf of Juan Guaidó. During this visit, which sought to obtain the official Italian recognition of Guaidó as interim president, the delegation spoke with the Vice President and Minister of the Interior, Mateo Salvini.
Leer en español: ¿Por qué Italia no ha reconocido a Guaidó como presidente interino?
As El Mundo affirms, Salvini spoke by telephone with the president of the national assembly and claimed that "his strong position in the confrontation with Maduro and his full support for the constitutional route to arrive as soon as possible to an election." However, this did not mean that the Venezuelan delegation has left the country with the recognition expected by the Italian government.
You may be interested in reading: Venezuela: What has happened in this week?
Division in Italy on the situation in Venezuela
Even in the face of pressure from other countries of the European Union that have already recognized Guaidó as interim president, including France, Germany, and Spain, the Italian Republic had maintained its political neutrality. This has meant that the EU has not yet been able to confirm its support to Juan Guaidó. Even inside Italy, other politicians have denounced the government's position, such as ex-president Matteo Renzi, who said: "I am ashamed of the Italian position, stop the Maduro dictatorship!" In his twitter account.
Neutrality has not been maintained only by a tradition of non-interference in foreign affairs, but also by the current division of government between the 5-Star Movement (M5S) and La Liga. As the portal of Radio France International explains, "The 5 Stars Movement opposes the recognition of Juan Guaidó, and in its ranks, there is a certain affinity with the socialist and anti-imperialist regime of Nicolás Maduro, aligned with Moscow. In La Liga, on the other hand, Maduro is considered a dictator who hunts his people and demands free elections as soon as possible. "
In this state of affairs, Italy has not been able to give a clear statement on the recognition of Guaidó as interim president, since there are positions found within the high-ranking governments, such as Luigi Di Maio, head of the M5S, and Mateo Salvini, leader of the Northern League
What is the position of Italy after the meeting with the Venezuelan delegation?
Faced with the events of this week, the Italian government decided to support the realization of new elections 'free, credible and per the institutional order', according to statements of the Senate.
According to El Mundo, "In line with the position shared by most of the EU countries, Italy does not recognize the" democratic legitimacy "of Nicolás Maduro, but (...) does not explicitly recognize the president of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, and advocates the immediate convocation of elections. " This point was reached after the Foreign Minister, Enzo Moavero Milanesi will speak before Parliament about the government's position. "The government is concerned about the humanitarian emergency and is working to offer non-conflictive solutions, considers unacceptable and strongly condemns any violence and expresses itself in favor of a peaceful solution," he said during his speech. Finally, the motion to support free elections in Venezuela was approved by 266 favorable and 205 opposing votes in the Chamber of Deputies, and in the Senate with 150 votes in favor, 120 against and two abstentions.
For his part, the Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, declared in an intervention in the plenary session of the European Parliament "We are asking for free elections as soon as possible because there is a population that is suffering, but we do not consider that this result is achieved by recognizing Guaidó, but rather that slows the process of reaching a democratic solution." Also, he has asked that the elections be carried out based on international standards and that humanitarian aid is allowed to enter, explained El Mundo.
Finally, although they did not recognize him, Guaidó thanked the Italian government through his tweeter account saying "Italy joins the countries that recognize our struggle. We appreciate the pronouncement of the Italian Parliament in favor of achieving free elections in Venezuela. The route that we have proposed passes through the cessation of the usurpation and the Transitional Government ". This as a reaction to the tweeter statement of Italian politician Guglielmo Picchi, in which he states that "The Italian parliament voted for a resolution that says: 1) Maduro is not the president; 2) The national assembly has democratic legitimacy; 3) Article 233 should apply; 4) Free and fair elections must be carried out. Therefore, Guaidó is the legitimate interim president of Venezuela. "
Italia se suma a los países que reconocen nuestra lucha.— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) 13 de febrero de 2019
Agradecemos el pronunciamiento del Parlamento Italiano en favor de lograr elecciones libres en Venezuela. La ruta que hemos planteado, pasa por el cese de la usurpación y el Gobierno de Transición.#VamosBien https://t.co/mJ8KR0Ot1b
LatinAmerican Post | Juan Gabriel Bocanegra Valero
Translated from "¿Por qué Italia no ha reconocido a Guaidó como presidente interino?"