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Large’ IMF majority on Venezuela leader issue needed – Lagarde

The International Monetary Fund will not be able to help Venezuela deal with its economic crisis until a “large majority” of its members decide who to recognise as the country’s leader, the head of the global lender said on Saturday.

Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the IMF “can only be guided by the membership, so it’s not a question of us deciding” whether to help in the event that Venezuela’s government reaches out to the Fund.

“It has to be a large majority of the membership actually recognising diplomatically the authorities that they regard as legitimate,” Lagarde said in a press conference at the IMF and World Bank spring meetings in Washington.

Venezuela is mired in a deep economic crisis marked by widespread food and medicine shortages, while hyperinflation has all but rendered its currency worthless.

More than 50 mostly Western countries including the United States and Venezuela’s largest neighbours have recognised opposition leader Juan Guaido, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, as the South American nation’s leader.

Russia and others recognise Nicolas Maduro, the socialist president and successor to the late Hugo Chavez, as the legitimate head of state…Continue Reading

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