The list of nations recognizing Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president is growing.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "He (Guaido) is the legitimate interim president for this task from the German perspective." Eleven European nations, including France, Britain, Germany and Spain, threw their support behind the opposition leader Monday after President Nicolas Maduro ignored a deadline set by EU countries to call new elections.
Maduro's government immediately rejected the move, vowing it would re-examine its relations with the EU governments involved.
But for Guaido, it was a moment of triumph (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) OPPOSITION LEADER, JUAN GUAIDO, SAYING: "So February 4th will be remembered as the day the world recognized the sacrifice and the fight put up by Venezuelans for liberty." Guaido declared himself interim leader last month, a move that was immediately supported by the U.S. while the Europeans chose to tread cautiously, afraid that any backing could set an example for other opposition leaders around the world.
Meanwhile the U.S. is still ramping up pressure with President Donald Trump saying he would not rule out military intervention in the country.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "Certainly it's something that's on the- it's an option." The U.S. has also sanctioned Venezuela's life-line-- the state-owned oil firm PDVSA, raising the risk of disruptions to global oil supply.
That caused global oil prices to jump to nearly $64 a barrel on Monday, a 2019 high.