Venezuelan crisis: Guaido gets backing from 13 European nations

Venezuela's opposition chief Juan Guaido

But David Lipton, the No. 2 at the International Monetary Fund, called Venezuela's economic crisis - marked by widespread food shortages, protracted hyperinflation and the loss of human capital through emigration - an "unprecedented economic storm" that will required generous, broad-based international support to overcome.

Trump said USA military intervention was under consideration in an interview with CBS aired on Sunday.

The announcement from Caracas comes as the Netherlands joined Germany, the UK, France, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, and Denmark in recognizing Guaido after earlier calling on the constitutionally-elected President Nicolas Maduro to run fresh elections - a request he denied.

The 14-nation so-called Lima Group, which includes Canada and Latin American countries such as Brazil and Mexico but not the United States, met in Ottawa to discuss the way forward on Venezuela. It is time for free and fair elections.

Russia, one of Maduro's most powerful foreign backers, having provided billions of dollars of credit to his government in recent years, denounced the diplomatic pressure as "meddling in Venezuela's internal affairs".

British Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman, James Slack, said Britain is considering imposing sanctions to help bring about change in Venezuela.

"As of yesterday, no presidential election had been called", Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit to Tokyo.

"We are not beggars", Maduro said in a speech to troops broadcast on Venezuelan state TV.

Guaido allies plan to take a large quantity of food and medicine donated by the United States, multilateral organizations and non-profit groups across the Colombian border into the Venezuelan state of Tachira this week, according to a person directly involved in the effort.

"The people of Venezuela have suffered enough".

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Among other European Union nations recognising Guaido were: Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Poland, Portugal and Sweden.

Maduro is facing calls from a growing chorus of nations, including some of Venezuela's neighbours, to resign in the wake of last year's disputed presidential vote in which he won re-election. Maduro told Italian television Sunday.

World powers are taking sides in the deadly struggle to lead Venezuela, which has pitted some Western nations against Russia, China and others.

U.S. President Donald Trump said military intervention in Venezuela was "an option" as Western nations boost pressure on socialist leader Nicolas Maduro to step down, while the troubled OPEC nation's ally Russian Federation warned against "destructive meddling".

"The United States wants to return to the 20th century of military coups, subordinate puppet governments and the looting of resources", he said.

In an interview that aired Monday with Italy's Sky TG24 he said that he had written Pope Francis asking for help in fostering dialogue with the opposition.

Such intervention "does not contribute in any way to a peaceful, effective and vital settlement to the crisis that Venezuelans are enduring", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez steps out of the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, September 12, 2018.

However, not all in the European Union have offered resounding support for the National Assembly leader. It aims to address the crisis in Venezuela and is due to hold its first meeting in Uruguay on Thursday.