US rejects Venezuela's call for Maduro-Trump talks

Nicolas Maduro

The Venezuelan authorities have repeatedly warned that while Washington talks about sending "humanitarian aid" to Venezuela, it blocks that nation's assets and applies sanctions and blockades that hinder access to basic necessities.

The UN Security Council is set to consider conflicting resolutions on the situation in Venezuela from the United States and Russian Federation, diplomatic sources said here.

Wood made a series of accusations against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and said that the legitimate president of the country was Guaido, the opposition leader.

US Vice President Mike Pence on Monday met Guaido and Colombian President Ivan Duque in Bogota for an emergency summit to focus on the Venezuelan crisis.

An estimated 2.7 million people have fled Venezuela since a devastating political and economic crisis engulfed the country in 2015, according to the UN.

The council is set to vote around 9.30am (11.30pm Malaysian time) on both proposed measures.

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

Reuters quoted diplomats as saying the USA version is likely to receive the required nine votes in the council but is expected to fail due to a Russian veto.

The draft resolution, seen by AFP, calls for "free, fair and credible presidential elections", with the presence of worldwide observers, and describes the May vote in which Maduro was declared the victor as "neither free nor fair". It also calls on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to "ensure free, fair, and credible presidential elections".

The draft resolution is likely to be opposed by Russian Federation, the diplomats said. In the February 18 speech, Trump warned members of Venezuela's military who remain loyal to Maduro that they are risking their future and their lives and urged them to allow humanitarian aid into the country.

Russian Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev claims the United States is amassing troops near the Venezuelan border ahead of a military operation in the south American country. "Does it keep trying to pile moral pressure on Maduro, or does it conclude the United Nations diplomatic route is dead?"

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