Neither with Maduro nor with Guaido. The Italian government didn’t take any official position on Venezuela. Thus, Italy broke ranks with the other big EU countries and some media reported it had “vetoed” the common position of the EU.
Actually, eleven EU countries nations joined the United States in recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president on Monday (4 February). Spain was the first, followed by Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and the UK.
Italy preferred not to take a position in what it is officially considered a purely Venezuelan domestic matter. That was the explanation offered by the undersecretary of State at the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Manlio Di Stefano, a civil servant linked to the Five Stars Movement (M5S).
“From our side there is a strong condemnation of the idea that a third country or a group of third countries can decide the internal policies of another country”, he said, adding: “This is the principle of not-interference, recognized by the United Nations”.
Di Stefano confirmed the political line already expressed by the Italian side in Brussels. MEPs from both ruling parties – M5S and the League – abstained in the vote on the resolution of the European Parliament calling for support to the leader of the Venezuelan opposition, Juan Guaido [see VoteWatch for vote details].
With the mask of upholding ‘principles’ and with the pretext of preserving self-determination and sovereignty of independent States, M5S contributed to further isolate Italy in Europe and to get closer to Moscow. Russia is in fact one of the international players asking to leave the Venezuelans to solve the crisis in the Latin-American country.
Of course Russia doesn’t want the Western countries to take control over an OPEC member such as Venezuela. In the energy wars that the Russian Federation likes to play at the international scene, making Venezuela a puppet country in the hands of the United States of America is something the Kremlin doesn’t want to happen.
At the same time The League and its leader, Matteo Salvini, have always shown interest in having more and deeper ties with Russia. Italy has huge interest in Russia. To make just an example, Eni and Gazprom have established a stable business relationship which goes strong today. Salvini wants to give a sort of priority lane because of the national strategic interest.
Just today the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, stressed that in the European Union “we have a common position on Venezuela”, in the sense that “we recognize as the legitimate institution of the country the National Assembly”. Apparently it is not the case.