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U.S. senators urge Europeans to recognize Guaido

European Union's foreign policy chief threatens further action

Venezuelan opposition leaderJuan Guaidodelivers a speech during a demonstration on Jan.26, 2019, in Caracas, Venezuela. (Marco Bello/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of U.S. senators says they will urge European countries to recognize Venezuelan congress leader Juan Guaido as the interim president of the South American country.

Republican Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee and he told reporters Wednesday that the Venezuelan opposition's new envoy in Washington "asked us to urge our European allies, which we have done and will continue to do."

Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland was the only Democrat in the group of five senators who met with opposition envoy Carlos Vecchio to express bipartisan support for Guaido, who has declared himself Venezuela's interim president in a challenge to Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro.

The European Union's foreign policy chief has said that if Maduro doesn't announce a new presidential election in the next days, the 28-nation bloc "will take further actions, including on the issue of recognition of the country's leadership."