Berlin, Jan 30 (AFP) Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido called on the European Union Wednesday to level “more sanctions” against President Nicolas Maduro’s government, in an interview with German daily Bild.

“We need more sanctions from the EU, like those decided by the USA,” Guaido said.

“We live in a dictatorship and there must be pressure. More and more people are being murdered,” he said according to the German-language article.

“There’s no doubt that the regime is totally corrupt… (Maduro) is a dictator.” Venezuela, an oil-rich but economically devastated country, was plunged into uncertainty last week when Guaido, the 35-year-old head of the National Assembly, proclaimed himself “acting president”. Maduro’s reelection last year was disputed by the opposition, and criticised internationally — but the socialist leader has until now retained the loyalty of the powerful military.

Germany said last Friday it was ready to recognise US-backed opposition leader Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president unless new elections are held within eight days.

Guaido also told mass-circulation daily Bild that “in the past week alone, 70 people were arrested at protests.

More than 300 political prisoners are in the jails.” “We all live on the verge of being imprisoned or even murdered.” (AFP) RUP RUP

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.