At UN, US urges all nations to end Venezuela’s ‘nightmare’

At UN, US urges all nations to end Venezuela’s ‘nightmare’

"If anything does represent a threat to peace, it is the shameless and aggressive action of the United States and their allies aimed at the ouster of the legitimately elected president of Venezuela", Russia's UN ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, told the UN Council.

Russia, China, South Africa and Equatorial Guinea also blocked a USA push for a U.N. Security Council statement expressing full support for Venezuela's National Assembly as the country's "only democratically elected institution". Thousands took to the streets to protest against Maduro, demanding he step down.

Arreaza said that the military, whose leadership remains loyal to Maduro, will never overthrow him.

"Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side", Pompeo told the U.N. Security Council during a rare Saturday morning session. "Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you're in league with Maduro and his mayhem", Pompeo told the council.

Hours earlier the United States urged all nations to support Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido while Russian Federation accused the Trump administration of attempting "to engineer a coup d'etat" against Maduro - a reflection of the world's deep divisions over the crisis in the embattled Latin American country. Despite the regime's threats to throw out diplomats and cut off electricity, the USA had refused to close its embassy.

Also on Friday, a Wall Street Journal report confirmed suspicions that opposition leader Juan Guaido's move to declare himself "interim president" of Venezuela this week was highly coordinated with the Trump White House and Republican lawmakers.

However, nonessential staff were leaving the country, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said in a statement, calling it "an effective retreat".

The Trump administration announced it was recognizing the 35-year-old leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly quickly after his oath, leading Maduro to say that he was breaking all diplomatic ties with the United States and expelling US diplomats. He said Venezuela doesn't threaten worldwide peace and security, and he accused "extremist opponents" of Maduro's legitimate government of choosing "maximum confrontation", including the artificial creation of a parallel government.

But as the sun set on Venezuela's capital, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying Maduro's government was suspending the expulsion to provide a 30-day window for negotiating with US officials about setting up a "U.S. interests office" in Venezuela and a similar Venezuelan office in the United States.

The news comes as Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Belgium threatened to recognize Venezuelan National Assembly President Juan Guaido as the nation's interim president if elections aren't called within eight days.

"The armed forces have a fundamental role to play in the restoration of democracy", Col. Jose Luis Silva said in the video, which he said was shot at his office in the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, sitting in front of the nation's red, blue and yellow flag.

Pompeo urged countries to help isolate the Maduro regime economically, saying they should "assure that they disconnect their financial system from the Maduro regime".

But he added that he was still willing to talk with the opposition even if he "had to go naked".

"It is dictating the orders to the Venezuelan Opposition and also to the satellite governments of the region and it would seem in Europe and other parts of the world", he said.

The US has been pushing for the global community to back Maduro's ouster.

On Saturday, the Venezuelan crisis was hotly debated on both sides of the Atlantic.

"I'm ready - a message for Freddy and Diosdado - I said it yesterday and will repeat it today, everybody who wants to end the usurpation (and backs the) government of transition and free elections, is welcome to discuss it". "Set aside these ridiculous ultimatums of eight days".

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