USA appoints Elliott Abrams to lead efforts in Venezuela

Washington: The United States, on Friday, announced that foreign policy veteran, Elliott Abrams, will be leading US efforts on Venezuela in the wake of the political crisis in the South American nation.

Abrams, who served as an assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs under US President Ronald Reagan, will be accompanying Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to the UN Security Council to attend the meeting “to urge other nations to support Venezuela’s democratic transition,” on Saturday.

“Elliot Abrams will be responsible for all things related to all our efforts to restore democracy in Venezuela. It’s a global challenge. There are multiple dimensions to how we hope to assist the Venezuelans in achieving democracy there,” Pompeo remarked at a press briefing here on Friday.

“The road ahead will be driven by the demands of the Venezuelan people, how we can assist them in achieving the outcome America wants them to achieve,” Pompeo further said.

“This crisis in Venezuela is deep, dangerous and difficult…,” Abrams stated at the conference.

The United States’ comments come amid a raging political crisis in Venezuela, with the opposition leader, Juan Guaido swearing himself in as the President of the South American nation on January 23. The US was the first nation to recognise Guaido as the interim President, with elected President Nicolas Maduro holding on to his post despite the developments.

Countries like Russia have shown support for Maduro, while slamming the US for its interference in Venezuela.
While answering a question related to the US diplomats in Venezuela, who were given 72 hours by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to leave the nation, Pompeo said: “We’ve made clear to everyone that it is our expectation that the U.S. officials that are there, that have now been invited to be there by interim President Juan Guaido have a right, they have the privileges and immunities that accrue to having been invited to be there by the duly credentialed leader of Venezuela, and we have every expectation that those rights will continue to be protected.”

Amid the crisis, Maduro cut off Venezuela’s ties with the United States and ordered for the South American country’s embassy and consulates to be shut in the US. He further ordered American diplomats to leave the nation by Saturday. Following this, the United States has ordered all non-emergency government employees in Venezuela to return to the USA.