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

by Ben Pena March 1, 2019, 0:39
Diplomats shun Venezuelan envoy's speech to United Nations rights body

A civil defence officer arranges U.S. humanitarian aid goods in Cucuta, Colombia, on the border with Tachira, Venezuela, February 8, 2019.

The United Nations Security Council is due to vote on Thursday on rival USA and Russian draft resolutions on Venezuela, diplomats said, with Washington's proposal calling for free and fair presidential elections and unhindered aid delivery.

Some European and Latin American ambassadors were expected to boycott Arreaza's speech, as more countries back opposition leader Juan Guaido and spurn President Nicolas Maduro, diplomats said.

Earlier at the Geneva forum, an aide to Colombian President Ivan Duque called for action to end Venezuela's humanitarian crisis and bring about a political transition leading to free elections.

Maduro denies there is a crisis in Venezuela despite overseeing a hyperinflationary meltdown that has resulted in sharp increases in malnutrition and the spread of preventable disease, as well as an exodus of 3.4 million Venezuelans since 2015.

"By showing sarcasm and arrogance towards the Venezuelan people, the United States is preparing a military invasion on an independent state", he said.

"If he wants to win their vote he has to do something about Venezuela". A resolution needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes by Russia, China, France, Britain and the United States to pass.

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

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

Russian Federation and the US have opposed each other when it comes to the crisis in Venezuela.

By provoking a series of violent confrontations along the Colombian and Brazilian borders, the Trump-backed opposition has managed to manufacture a false narrative created to delegitimize the Maduro government and justify further foreign military intervention.

The Brazil-Venezuela border has been closed since Friday evening by order of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The United States targeted Venezuela's government with new sanctions on Monday and called on allies to freeze the assets of state-owned PDVSA after deadly violence blocked humanitarian aid from reaching the country over the weekend. "Does it keep trying to pile moral pressure on Maduro, or does it conclude the United Nations diplomatic route is dead?"

"The only thing to discuss with Maduro at this point is the time and date for his departure", Pence tweeted.

"When each country handles the Venezuelan issue, we should.uphold the principle of non-interference in internal affairs, oppose the use or threat of military force, and uphold the standards of basic global relations", he added. It stresses the need to ensure the safety of all the members of Venezuela's National Assembly.

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