Bolivia's Morales, in Greece, backs Venezuela's Maduro

Bolivian President Evo Morales speaks during a conference which also Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras taking part in Athens, on Thursday, March 14, 2019. Morales is in Greece on a two-day official visit.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Bolivian President Evo Morales chats with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during a conference in Athens, on Thursday, March 14, 2019. Morales is in Greece on a two-day official visit.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Bolivian President Evo Morales, center, arrives with Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, for a press conference in Athens, Thursday, March 14, 2019. Morales is in Greece on a two-day official visit. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS, Greece — Bolivia's left-wing president on Thursday compared Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido to an erstwhile colonial viceroy and spoke out against any military intervention in the troubled country.

"Are we returning to colonial times?" Evo Morales said in a speech in Athens, during a rare trip to Europe. "Like Juan Guaido ... has he been recognized as the viceroy of Latin America? I don't understand that."

"Any armed intervention won't solve social, or political, problems," Morales said of Venezuela, which has been battered by hyperinflation and widespread shortages of food and medicine. "I salute the resistance of the Venezuelan people, despite the economic blockade, the energy blackouts, the threats of intervention."

His talks with Greece's left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday are expected to include the political and economic crisis in Venezuela.

Guaido, the leader of Venezuela's opposition-controlled congress, is seeking to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro, with whom Morales has maintained his alliance throughout the crisis.

Tsipras' Syriza party has friendly ties with left-wing parties in South America. In late January, the party expressed "full support and solidarity" with Maduro, in contrast with the major European Union members that along with the U.S. are among 50 nations that have expressed support for Guaido.

Morales arrived in Greece on Thursday for a two-day visit after travelling from Austria, where he attended a United Nations conference on combatting drug trafficking and abuse globally.

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