UNSC rejects US, Russian resolutions on Venezuela

UNSC rejects US, Russian resolutions on Venezuela

Agency News

United Nations, Mar 1: The United Nations Security Council failed to adopt two competing draft resolutions on Venezuela, sponsored by the United States and Russia respectively.

The Security Council on Thursday struck down the US-backed proposal calling for fresh elections in Venezuela and also rejected a draft resolution put forward by Russia to reaffirm the right of President Nicolas Maduro's government to coordinate aid deliveries to the Latin American country.

The US draft received nine votes in favor, three against, and three abstentions in the 15-member council. Russia and China vetoed the resolution. Minutes later, the Security Council voted on the Russian draft, which received four votes in favor, seven against and four abstentions.

It was the third Council meeting seeking solutions to Venezuela’s “protracted crisis” since tensions started escalating in January, when Juan Guaidó, head of the country’s National Assembly, challenged the legitimacy of the sitting President, Nicolás Maduro, who has been in power since 2013 and who was sworn in again for a second term, on 10 January.

Venezuela has been plunged into a political crisis since January 23 when National Assembly President Juan Guaido declared himself interim president and was recognized by the United States and some other countries.

A US-backed drive to deliver "humanitarian aid" to Venezuela through border crossings on Feb. 23 met strong resistance from the Venezuelan government as President Nicolas Maduro believed the aid, mainly from the United States, is a smokescreen for a military invasion.

The Venezuelan government has closed borders with Brazil and Colombia and some air and sea routes. As tensions continue to escalate, the UN humanitarian coordination office (OCHA) has been documenting the humanitarian crisis in the country.

The infant mortality has increased by more than 50 per cent since 2017, four in five hospitals lack the necessary medicines and staff to be operational. To date, the UN refugee and migration agencies (UNHCR and IOM respectively),estimate that the number of Venezuelans to have fled their country stands at 3.4 million.

Following recent violence by Government forces during demonstrations at border crossings with Brazil and Colombia and other parts of the country, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) denounced excessive use of force which led to the death of several civilians. UNI