Diplomats shun Venezuelan envoy's speech to United Nations rights body

Oscar PerryMar 01, 2019

Within days of Guaido's pronouncement, the United States seized billions of dollars' worth of Venezuela's oil assets while several U.S. officials threatened to take military action against Maduro's government.

Battered by an economic meltdown, Venezuela descended into a major political crisis when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president in January and asserted that President Nicolas Maduro was no longer legitimate.

More than 3 million Venezuelans have fled their homeland in recent years in search of food, medicine and opportunities elsewhere in the region. U.S. President Donald Trump has all options are on the table in dealing with Venezuela.

A resolution needs nine votes to pass the council and no vetoes by the permanent members - the United States, Russia, China, France, and Britain.

The US-drafted text, seen by AFP, calls for "free, fair and credible presidential elections", with the presence of global observers, describing the May vote in which Maduro was declared the victor as "neither free nor fair".

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The U.S. draft asks U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to help ensure there is a free, fair and credible presidential election with global observers.

Guaido crossed into Colombia on Saturday in preparation for efforts to move aid over the border to Venezuela. Russia's envoy Vassily Nebenzya, meanwhile, accused the US of using humanitarian aid as a cover for its efforts to militarily topple the Nicolas Maduro regime. "The only thing to discuss with Maduro at this point is the time and date for his departure", he said on Twitter. "For democracy to return and for Venezuela to rebuild - Maduro must go #VenezuelaLibre", Pence tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

Russian Federation had circulated a rival draft resolution "expressing concern over the threats to use force" against Venezuela and "to intervene" in its domestic matters.

Tensions between Washington and Moscow over the crisis in Venezuela have risen over the past month, as the USA and the majority of Latin American nations rally behind interim President Juan Guaidó.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in a defiant interview with ABC News that aired Tuesday, said the us government is fabricating a crisis to start a war in South America and Maduro does not trust "the people that are around" President Donald Trump.

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