President Maduro slams European Union countries over recognition of rival Guaido

European nations recognise Guaido as Venezuela's acting president

European countries have urged Juan Guaido to hold new elections quickly

"That is why it is time to increase pressure", Guaido said through a translator - his enlarged image hovering over the gathering on a movie-theatre sized screen.

About 50 protesters showed up at the Lima Group's closing news conference to denounce Canada's moves so far.

In a taped interview that aired on CBS News, US President Donald Trump said that military action in Venezuela against Maduro remains "an option".

The 35-year-old lawmaker, who is the head of the South American country's National Assembly, declared himself Venezuela's interim head of state last month, directly challenging Maduro's claim to the presidency.

The Lima Group's final statement out of Monday's meeting in Ottawa emphasized the group's "support for a process of peaceful transition through political and diplomatic means without the use of force".

Guaido is expected to announce a date for the arrival of humanitarian aid from the United States - a path Maduro believes will lead to a US-led military intervention. Canada has already contributed $2.2 million for the humanitarian crisis that's forced some three million Venezuelans from their homes, sending ripples across the region, particularly in neighbouring Brazil and Colombia, which are now faced with a refugee crisis.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said the election that brought Maduro to power was neither free nor fair and told Swedish broadcaster SVT on Monday that Venezuelans "now must get new, free and fair elections instead".

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"If someday there'll be a coup; if there'll be a U.S. intervention of Venezuela, then, Senior Pedro Sanchez, your hands will be stained in blood forever and history will remember you as a puppet in service of Donald Trump's policy of interference", President Maduro said in an address, broadcast live on his Twitter page.

"He is the legitimate interim president for this task from Germany's point of view and from the point of view of several European countries". U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was to address the group, behind closed doors, on a video link.

Europe's support has not gone down well with Russian Federation, one of the first countries to throw its support behind Maduro as the crisis evolved.

"They have also chosen to side with Donald Trump and US foreign policy", CUPE said in a statement.

"The oppression of the illegitimate, kleptocratic Maduro regime must end".

"If anyone believes that his management of the economy is in anyway an example of how to go about it, then they need their heads examined".

Sanchez added he wanted to spearhead a plan of humanitarian aid for Venezuela in the European Union and United Nations.

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The prime minister acknowledged Guaido's personal representative, Orlando Viera Blanco, who joined the meeting in Ottawa. Although Washington has broached the idea of an oil embargo on Venezuela, the Lima Group looked set to hold off imposing more sanctions, sources briefed on the matter said.

Sanchez said: "We are working for the return of full democracy in Venezuela: human rights, elections and no more political prisoners".

"I call to reject intervention", he said, urging the soldiers to defend the country against "Yankee imperialism".

Canada and its Latin American allies in the Lima Group, along with the United States, have been pushing for Maduro's departure.

Guaido has won backing from the United States, European powers including France, Germany and Spain, Canada, Australia and a dozen Latin American countries to take over the leadership, but Russian Federation and China continue to support Maduro.

The European Union has been unable to take a collective position because countries such as Italy and Greece are unwilling to recognise Guadió.

Pressure is intensifying on President Nicolas Maduro.

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