Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro made a statement expressing solidarity with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and with the Greek people this week during his weekly televised address, "In Contact With Maduro." The statement followed Greece's default on a scheduled $1.8 billion bailout repayment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday, making it the first developed nation to default on an IMF loan.
While many EU members criticized Greece's actions in the weeks leading up to the default, leaders and citizens from all over Europe and around the world have participated in public demonstrations and written statements to show solidarity with the Greek people and often with Tsipras himself.
Maduro is one of many international leaders, including Podemos’ Secretary General Pablo Iglesias of Spain, European Parliament member Caroline Lucas of England, and activist Beppe Grillo of Italy, who have issued similar statements underlining their solidarity with Greece.
“The Greek people have known about democracy for over 2,000 years, and the Greek people are going to respond with democracy,” said Maduro in the statement Wednesday morning, according to the Venezuela's TelesurTV.net.
The socialist leader congratulated the Greeks on what he called a rebellion against the unfair requests of European lenders, and he urged them not to cede to additional demands from the IMF.
“Fear not, Greek sisters and brothers, the path forward is to break the chains of international financial capital and the IMF, to free yourselves from the yoke that tries to consume the people’s blood, the people’s labor, the wealth of countries, that is the path,” he said, according to a Venezuelan news source.
European citizens, too, have come to Greece's side as the country faces financial turmoil. On Monday, thousands of people swarmed Trafalgar Square in London to express their solidarity with Greece and lobby for debt forgiveness, London 24 reported.