New York [USA]: US Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday (local time) urged the United Nations to globally recognise Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared President Juan Guaido as the legitimate head of state.
Launching a scathing attack on the Nicolas Maduro regime, Pence said that Venezuela, under him, is a “failed state, and failed states know no boundaries”.
“With all due respect, Mr. Ambassador, you shouldn’t be here. You should return to Venezuela and tell Nicolas Maduro that his time is up. It’s time for him to go,” The Hill quoted Pence as saying to Venezuela’s Ambassador to the UN Samuel Moncada.
He urged the General Assembly and Security Council to follow the footsteps of the Organisation of American States (OAS), which on Tuesday recognised Guaido’s designated envoy to OAS over Maduro’s ambassador.
In February, the US had moved a resolution in the Security Council recognising Guaido as the legitimate president, but China and Russia voted against it.
“And while Russia and China continue to obstruct at the Security Council, rogue states like Iran and Cuba are doing all they can to prop up the Maduro regime,” Pence said.
The US Vice President asserted that several nations in the Western Hemisphere are now backing Guaido and that others should follow suit.
Continuing his attack against Maduro, Pence said that he was in power only due to Cuba’s backing, adding that there was Iran’s increased support as well.
“For decades, Cuba has tried to create client states across our region. While normal countries export goods, Cuba exports tyranny and strong-arm tactics,” he alleged.
In January, Guaido had proclaimed himself as the President of Venezuela, as protests calling for Maduro’s ouster shook the Latin American nation. The US immediately supported Guaido, asking other nations to back the self-proclaimed President.
Venezuela is currently in the throes of a political crisis, which is worsened by hyperinflation, blackouts, and an acute shortage of water and medicines.
In February, Pence paid a visit to Colombia for the Lima Group talks to discuss the ongoing crisis where he had reiterated the US’ support for Guaido.
Several countries called for Maduro to step down or hold fresh elections, as they largely view the elections which brought the 56-year-old leader to power as rigged.
Maduro has refused to step down from his post or accept humanitarian aid from the US. In response, Washington has slapped sanctions on Caracas in a number of sectors.
The Venezuelan military continues to back Maduro, even though countries like US, UK, France, Japan, amongst others, recognise Guaido as the self-proclaimed interim President.
However, China, Russia, and other countries have slammed international interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs, throwing their weight behind Maduro.