United Nations to Vote on Dueling US, Russian Resolutions on Venezuela

United Nations to Vote on Dueling US, Russian Resolutions on Venezuela

United Nations to Vote on Dueling US, Russian Resolutions on Venezuela

Tensions in Venezuela escalated on January 23, when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president.

The resolution calls for a new, free and fair presidential election and unimpeded transport of humanitarian aid into the South American country. Instead, he called Maduro the "man in charge".

Russian Federation and China vetoed a U.S. -drafted U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a free and fair presidential election in Venezuela and unhindered aid access. But the opposition leader's efforts to wrest power from his adversary have stumbled, raising the prospect of a protracted standoff in which US sanctions inflict deeper economic pain on Venezuelans.

The United States and Russian Federation both failed on Thursday in rival bids to get the United Nations Security Council to take action on Venezuela, cementing a global split over how to deal with a political and humanitarian crisis in the South American country.

"President Rhythm, President Passion, that's me", said Maduro, who has denounced his opponents as killers and criminals in fiery speeches reminiscent of the style of predecessor Hugo Chavez.

The United States, leading the 50-nation support for self-declared interim president Juan Guaido as the legitimate leader in Caracas, is calling for adoption of a measure urging "the peaceful restoration of democracy and rule of law" in Venezuela.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia called last Saturday's attempt by the Venezuelan opposition to move aid shipments from Colombia into Venezuela nothing but a "humanitarian show" orchestrated by the United States.

Maduro has accused the United States of using aid as a political tool aimed at overthrowing him, and blames USA sanctions for the economic turmoil. A council resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by Russia, China, France, Britain or the United States to pass.

"The problem is what the United States does next after this resolution fails".

Guaido also is expected to meet with Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo, leaders of Brazil's Congress and ambassadors of several countries.

But US Vice President Mike Pence responded on Twitter that "the only thing to discuss with Maduro at this point is the time and date for his departure".

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.

The document introduced by Russian Federation reaffirms Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro government's role in coordinating aid delivery, appeals for political dialogue, including through the Montevideo mechanism, and urges against the use of force against the Bolivarian Republic.

Guaido was to travel to Brasilia to meet President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday.

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