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  • Federica Mogherini

    Federica Mogherini | Photo: Reuters

EU's top diplomat called on “all parties to refrain from violence, including through unidentified groups of armed civilians.”

The European Union has refused to sanction Venezuela as U.S.-led pressure against President Nicolas Maduro continues to mount.

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In a statement, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the EU would not recognize the results of Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly, citing concerns over “its effective representativeness and legitimacy,” but would not impose economic sanctions.

Mogherini instead urged for dialogue between the government and opposition groups and called on “all parties to refrain from violence, including through unidentified groups of armed civilians.”

Mogherini also warned the EU was prepared to “gradually step up their response” to Venezuela.

The statement comes amid escalating international pressure against the government of President Maduro after Venezuela held elections for the Constituent Assembly.

Paraguay has called for Venezuela to be suspended from Mercosur, the South American economic bloc.

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In a press conference on Monday, Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga said: “the conditions to sanction (Venezuela) are plainly apparent.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also warned of "regime change," signaling the U.S. government was prepared to step up its response after announcing sanctions against President Maduro.

“We are evaluating all of our policy options as to what can we do to create a change of conditions where either Maduro decides he doesn’t have a future and wants to leave of his own accord or we can return the government processes back to their constitution,” the former Exxon Mobil chief executive said Tuesday.

But amid the threats, Venezuela has also been offered strong support from the international community.

U.N. Security Council chief Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta said Venezuela does not pose a threat to international peace and security, according to a report by Prensa Latina.

Russia, Cuba and Bolivia have also praised Venezuela and criticized international attacks against Venezuela.


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