UN Security Council Meets Today on Venezuela Political Crisis

Protests against the government of Nicolas Maduro continue in Venezuela. Photo: elcomercio.pe

HAVANA TIMES – The UN Security Council will convene on Saturday to discuss the political crisis in Venezuela, after the United States requested an emergency session in New York.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza both plan to attend.

Pompeo said on Friday he would urge other countries to support Juan Guaido, who declared himself Venezuela’s interim president on Wednesday as Venezuelans took to the streets to demand the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro.

Maduro has broken off diplomatic relations with Washington and ordered US diplomatic staff to leave by Sunday.

The US, the European Union, more than half a dozen Latin American nations have thrown their support behind the opposition.

Other countries – including Russia, Iran, Turkey, Cuba, Bolivia and Nicaragua – have backed Maduro.

Maduro won a second term in May elections widely seen as undemocratic and was sworn in on January 10 amid mounting international pressure on him to step down.

The army has so far sided with the president, though minor attempts at mutinies have indicated that there are divisions within the security forces.

Guaido, who has described the situation in Venezuela as a “humanitarian emergency,” asked the army to allow the entry of humanitarian aid he has requested and the United States has agreed to provide.

Despite possessing the largest oil reserves in the world, Venezuela has been in economic and political crisis for years.

The inflation rate is the highest in the world and more than 3 million people have fled the country due to food shortages and political unrest.