IMF Still Seeking Member Guidance on Recognizing Guaido as Venezuela's Leader (Reuters)
Last Modified: 10:41 AM, Thu Feb 07, 2019
07 February 2019

Word Count: 135

The IMF is still awaiting guidance from its member countries on whether to recognize Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's legitimate head of state, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said today. He said that official recognition would be required first step before any IMF financing program to aid Venezuela could be designed. Despite a growing number of countries recognizing Guaido's leadership, he said the IMF was still waiting for a consensus. "I think countries are still establishing their positions in terms of recognition," Rice said. "We're watching that closely, and we will be guided by the membership once we feel -- and they feel -- that there's an established view with which they could guide us." Regarding the Venezuelan economy, he said "it would be premature to begin to talk about any specifics" on types of financial instruments that could be used by the Fund until the political situation has been clarified.

WASHINGTON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund is still awaiting guidance from its member countries on whether to recognize Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's legitimate head of state, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said on Thursday.

Rice, speaking at a regular news briefing, said that official recognition would be required first step before any IMF financing program to aid Venezuela could be designed. Despite a growing number of countries recognizing Guaido's leadership, he said the IMF was still waiting for a consensus.

"I think countries are still establishing their positions in terms of recognition," Rice said. "We're watching that closely and we will be guided by the membership once we feel -- and they feel -- that there's an established view with which they could guide us." (Reporting by David Lawder)

IMF must await recognition of Venezuelan government: spokesman (AFP)

It would be "premature" for the International Monetary Fund to consider any financial aid for Venezuela until there is a consensus on recognizing a government in Caracas, an IMF spokesman said Thursday.

Amid the "devastating humanitarian and economic crisis" in Venezuela, embattled President Nicolas Maduro has been challenged by opposition leader Juan Guaido who declared himself interim president and has been recognized by 40 governments, including the United States and European Union.

IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters that the "international community guides official recognition," and that is "the first step in terms of the IMF position on Venezuela."

But countries are still establishing their position on recognition, he told reporters.

"We're watching that closely. We will be guided by the membership once they feel and we feel there is an established views," he said.

"Before any other action could be taken that step would need to be taken."

IMF number two David Lipton said earlier this week that the hyperinflation, mass migration and economic contraction that have ravaged the South American oil producer would require broad and "generous external support" to recover from.

But Rice said "it would be premature to begin to talk about any specifics" on types of financial instruments until the political situation has been clarified.

He declined to explain what would be required for recognition. However, a government must formally request IMF aid before the fund will get involved.

The IMF in 2011 took a similar position concerning Libya, delaying engagement with the country pending the recognition of a new government after the ouster of former dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

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Creditline: Reuters
Slugline: VENEZUELA-POLITICS/IMF (URGENT)