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European nations recognize Guaido as Venezuelan leader

MADRID — Spain, France and Sweden have all announced that they are recognizing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president and are urging him to hold a new presidential election.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told reporters in Madrid on Monday that “we are working for the return of full democracy in Venezuela: human rights, elections and no more political prisoners.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, speaking Monday to France Inter Radio, urged Guaido to call an early presidential election that will ensure “the Venezuelan crisis ends peacefully.”

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom told Swedish broadcaster SVT the vote that brought Maduro to power was not a “free and fair election.”

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has so far rejected calls by European countries to call an early election.

The Associated Press