UNSC should look into US attempts for coup in Venezuela – Russian envoy

The United States are trying to organize a coup in Venezuela and the UN Security Council should look into the threat to Caracas, the Russian envoy to the international organization said.

The council gathered on Saturday to discuss the situation in the Latin American country where the opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the head of Venezuela with the support of the US and its allies.

Russia and three other countries opposed discussing "situation in Venezuela" saying that saying that the internal situation in the country does not represent a threat to the international community, but Washington's actions do, yet nine out 15 members voted to put it on the agenda.

The whole UNSC meeting is nothing more than “another element” of the US' strategy, and an “unethical ploy” by Washington to involve the international body in its regime change campaign, Russia’s envoy to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said.

Washington’s “interference into the internal affairs of other states is nothing new” as the US still “treats Latin America as its backyard with no regard to the interests of people living there,” the Russian ambassador said. Nebenzia added that Venezuela has become the latest victim of the US’ “favorite political game” because the “independent policy” pursued by Caracas does not comply with the interests of the self-styled “warden of the Western hemisphere.”

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Washington is the one that is partly to blame for the crisis in Venezuela in the first place. The economic woes of the Latin American nation were provoked by “discriminatory economic measures” taken by the US and those “who are now crying about the suffering” of Venezuelans, Nebenzia said.

The Russian diplomat also accused the US of pressuring some Venezuelan opposition figures to boycott the presidential vote, adding that Washington later used the very same boycott to declare the elections illegitimate.

Nebenzia also openly asked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo if “the US once again intends to violate the UN Charter” by invading Venezuela, referring to President Donald Trump’s statement on the issue, in which he said that “all options are on the table.”

“External interference needs to stop,” the Russian diplomat said, adding that what the troubled country really needs is an intra-Venezuelan dialog that would stabilize the situation. “We are ready to contribute to the dialog and call on everyone to do the same,” Nebenzia said.

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo started his speech by giving a series of tragic stories from Venezuela blaming starvation and poverty on “socialist policies” of the government that deprived people of prosperity. He then went on to hail the self-proclaimed “interim president” of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, who Washington supported this week.

France followed the US in blaming the Maduro government for the “chaos” in Venezuela. “Democracy must be restored” in Venezuela, the French UN envoy said, echoing the words of President Emmanuel Macron. She also called the National Assembly the “only genuinely democratic” ruling body in Venezuela while denouncing the latest presidential vote as a “travesty of an election.”

Venezuela has been in dire economic situation for months due to a global downturn in oil prices and the government mismanagement of its rich resources.  The US has greatly expanded its economic sanctions against the oil-rich country, proclaiming “support”  towards Venezuelan people at the same time. Said sanctions, however, have mainly hit the country’s citizens, many analysts argue.

Protests have been frequent in the  country and the turbulent week started with demonstrations after a National Guard unit in Caracas staged a mutiny. The soldiers were arrested, but protests swelled in the following days. 

Guaido proclaimed himself “interim president” of Venezuela on Wednesday, swiftly receiving strong support from Washington and its allies.

Russia, China, Turkey, Cuba and other states, however, vowed support to the elected president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, condemning the externally-fueled coup attempt. Maduro, on his part, did not take Washington's actions lightly, and severed diplomatic ties with the US. 

Over the past few days, the country has seen massive anti-government protests, as well as counter-protests staged by supporters of the legitimate authorities.

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