Venezuela crisis: US, Russia submit resolutions to UNSC

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Within days of Guaido's pronouncement, the United States seized billions of dollars' worth of Venezuela's oil assets while several USA officials threatened to take military action against Maduro's government.

The US recognizes Juan Guaido, the leader of Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly, as the oil-rich nation's acting president, while Russian Federation supports incumbent head of state Nicolas Maduro, Efe news reported on Wednesday.

"Instead of the hypocritical attempt to bring in an aid of $20 million, it is necessary to immediately lift the ban on the accounts of Venezuelan enterprises in American banks with $11 billion allocated by the government for the purchase of medicines, food and essential goods", he urged.

The draft resolution is likely to be opposed by Russian Federation, the diplomats said. In order to pass, a resolution needs nine votes in favor and none of the five permanent members - the United Kingdom, the U.S., Russia, France and China - can oppose.

The U.S. draft resolution, seen by Reuters, asks U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to help ensure there is a free, fair and credible presidential election with global observers. 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.

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But US Vice President Mike Pence responded on Twitter that "the only thing to discuss with Maduro at this point is the time and date for his departure".

The U.S. envoy on Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that he was concerned for Guaido's safety upon his return to Venezuela. It stresses the need to ensure the safety of all the members of Venezuela's National Assembly.

Given that not a single truck, boat or plane entered the country, and that Venezuela's armed forces remained steadfast in their defence of the national sovereignty, it can be said that Trump's and Guaido's primary objectives were a failure.

In Geneva earlier, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza proposed direct talks between the leaders, asking: "Why shouldn't they meet, President Trump and President Maduro?"

The Russian draft resolution expresses "concern over the threats to use force" against Venezuela.

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