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The proclamation of Juan Guaidó created tensions between the US and Russia, and again divided the permanent members of the Security Council into their former sides
Leer en español: Venezuela: fuente de fricciones en el Consejo de Seguridad
The meeting of the Security Council of the United Nations this Saturday, showed that Venezuela continues to be the main point of collision between the United States and Russia. With allies on both sides, support for Juan Guaidó determines who each country is aligned with.
Also read: Juan Guaidó: Venezuela has a new president
At this meeting, the representative of Russia on the Security Council, Vassily Nebenzia, was clear in his rejection of the presidency of Guaidó and emphatic in the illegitimacy of his position. For Russia, supporting Juan Guaidó means a "breach of international law" as well as an attempt to "orchestrate a coup d'état".
Through Nebenzia, the Russian delegation tried to leave the issue of Venezuela outside the agenda: "Venezuela is not a threat to peace or security," he said.
Nebenzia confronted Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State of the United States, who dismissed the assertions of the Russian delegation, assuring that support for Guaidó is necessary, since Venezuela is becoming a problem for the region.
According to Pompeo, Maduro's government is responsible for Venezuela's "dying of hunger," which has caused the mass exodus of Venezuelans to other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
"Now we have a new president in Venezuela: Juan Guaidó," said Pompeo. "He has promised to hold elections, restore constitutional order to the country and security to the region. We can not postpone this crucial conversation. "
In the vote, nine members voted to continue the conversation around Venezuela (United States, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Peru, Belgium, Poland, Kuwait, and Dominican Republic) and four voted against (Russia, China, Equatorial Guinea and South Africa).
The United Nations press for a political resolution of the conflict
Rosemary Di Carlo, deputy general secretary of the UN for political affairs and peacebuilding, spoke later. In her speech, she lamented the political polarization in Venezuela, which makes it difficult to find consensus and brought up figures that demonstrate the seriousness of the situation.
According to Di Carlo, between 2015 and 2017, 3.7 million Venezuelans suffered from undernourishment, and in recent years the infant mortality rate has doubled, ensuring that these conditions have forced 2.3 million Venezuelans to forcibly migrate to neighboring nations.
The United States seeks allies
Pompeo wasted no time in seeing that the deputy general secretary echoed her sense of urgency.
"It is time for each nation to choose a side", said the secretary of state. "No more delays, no more tricks: either they are with the forces of freedom or they are allied with Maduro and its chaos".
This intervention of the United States, reminiscent of the polarization of the Cold War, showed the intentions of the Trump administration regarding the crisis in Venezuela. For the United States, ending Maduro's regime is a priority, while the mechanism that removes him from office is indifferent to them.
Russia and China denounce interventionism
"The Americans have not changed at all in their way of seeing Latin America as their exclusive area of interest, a backyard where they can do whatever they want", Nebenzia answered.
For the Russian delegation, the priority was to prove that the situation in Venezuela did not pose a risk to the security of the region, and that therefore it did not merit the participation of the Security Council or the debate within this organization.
China was linked to Russia, which also challenged France by posing a hypothetical scenario: "What would you like if the Russian Federation asked to discuss in the Security Council the situation in France with the yellow vests, which this weekend are manifesting on the streets in heaps?" Nebenzia asked.
Opinion is divided in Latin America
Among the Latin American countries that expressed their positions before the session of the Security Council are Colombia and Bolivia. Both differ in their position regarding the events of this week in Venezuela.
For his part, Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo did not hesitate to express his "firm support" to Juan Guaidó and his presidency. He also stressed the urgency of restoring order in Venezuela, since it is putting Colombia at risk, who has seen how the regime "seizes" the investments of Colombians in the neighboring country, which has also become a "refuge for terrorist groups." "
Bolivia manifested a contrary position. Through the ambassador of this country to the UN, Sacha Llorenti, the Andean country demonstrated its support for the presidency of Nicolás Maduro, but was also emphatic when it came to denouncing the urgency of intervention by the United States.
"Unfortunately we see that the interest of who called this meeting is not democracy or human rights, the real interest is to promote situations of instability to use in favor of their policies of regime change and control of natural resources", said Llorenti.
LatinAmerican Post | Pedro Bernal
Translated from "Venezuela: frente de fricciones en el Consejo de Seguridad"