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IMF Comments on 'Complex' Venezuela Situation

FILE - International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaks to reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 21, 2019.

The International Monetary Fund on Thursday called Venezuela one of the most "complex situations" it had ever seen.

IMF spokesman Gerry Rice described Venezuela and its economy as a combination of "food and nutrition crises, hyperinflation, a destabilized exchange rate, debilitating human capital and physical productive capacity, and a very complicated debt situation."

Rice said tackling this challenge would take "strong resolve" and "broad international support" from all 189 IMF members.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told The Economist Radio, a podcast, that the fund would help "as soon as we are asked by the legitimate authorities of that country."

"We will open our wallet, we will put our brain to it, and we will make sure our heart is in the right place to help the poorest and most exposed people," she added, calling the task it faced in Venezuela "monumental."

Rice said Thursday that the IMF had yet to determine whom to recognize as the leader of Venezuela — President Nicolas Maduro or opposition leader Juan Guaido, the self-declared interim president.