United States seeks vote on UN resolution to allow aid into Venezuela

Minnie Murray
March 2, 2019

Maduro has accused the U.S. of staging a coup against him over efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to his country amid widespread hunger and malnutrition. Venezuela's incumbent President Nicolas Maduro blasted the move as an attempted coup and announced cutting diplomatic ties with the United States.

The Venezuelan Foreign Affairs minister, Jorge Arreaza, challenged the U.S. and urged the United Nations to approve a resolution against the "use of force" in Venezuela.

President Trump, in a rare global crisis in which he has enjoyed strong worldwide backing, on January 23 recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president as Venezuela's economy collapses and millions flee to neighboring countries. President Donald Trump has all options are on the table in dealing with Venezuela. A revised USA draft, seen by Reuters, was circulated on Wednesday.

Earlier, an aide to President Ivan Duque of neighboring Colombia called for action to end Venezuela's humanitarian crisis and bring about a political transition leading to free elections.

The interview follows an announcement by Vice President Mike Pence of new sanctions by the Trump administration on allies of Maduro after an effort to deliver humanitarian aid to the economically devastated nation faltered amid strong resistance from security forces loyal to the socialist leader. "For democracy to return and for Venezuela to rebuild-Maduro must go #VenezuelaLibre" Pence tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

The US-drafted measure "stresses the importance of ensuring the security" of all lawmakers and opposition members, but a reference in a previous draft expressing "full support" for the National Assembly was dropped.

He claimed that "the aggression came from the Colombian side" and blamed opposition "thugs" and "bandits" for the violence, saying most of the injured were soldiers, police and other law enforcement personnel.

A supporter of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro sits next to an image depicting the late president Hugo Chavez during an "anti-intervention" march coinciding with the anniversary of the deadly 1989 social uprising against neoliberal measures known as the Caracazo, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019.

The document would also ask Security Council member nations to note "the constitutional authority of the democratically elected National Assembly" and "provide appropriate amnesties for civil and military officials in support of the National Assembly in the restoration of democracy and rule of law in Venezuela".

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