March 15, 2019 / 9:40 AM / 11 days ago

Bolivia's Morales says Venezuela needs dialogue, not foreign meddling

Bolivian President Evo Morales speaks during his meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (not pictured) at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece, March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

ATHENS (Reuters) - Bolivia’s leftist President Evo Morales, a supporter of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, said on Friday that European nations should support a dialogue within the country.

Morales, who is on a visit to Greece, said meddling in the domestic affairs of another country never bodes well.

“History has taught that there have been many interventions from the outside, such as the case of Libya and Iraq, and they never offered a solution”, Morales said in translated comments after meeting Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

“On the contrary it abolished democracy,” he said.

Morales is one of a few Latin American leaders to support the embattled Maduro, whose country has been reeling from a humanitarian crisis.

“The only solution .. is dialogue, and that is what the European countries should support,” he said. “The opposition of Venezuela should sit at the same table with the official authorities of this country for dialogue and find a solution.”

Venezuela plunged into a deep political crisis in January when Juan Guaido, head of the opposition-controlled congress, invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing Maduro’s 2018 re-election was not legitimate.

The move has put Venezuela at the heart of a geopolitical tussle, with the United States leading most Western nations in recognizing Guaido as the legitimate head of state, while Russia, China and others support Maduro.

Greece has said it supports a political dialogue between opposing sides in Venezuela.

Reporting By Renee Maltezou, writing by Angeliki Koutantou and Michele Kambas

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