United Nations, Feb 28 (EFE).- The United States and Russia clashed again over Venezuela in the UN Security Council on Thursday, as Moscow vetoed a US resolution recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate president, while an opposing Russian draft fell far short of garnering enough votes to pass.
Nine of the 15 members supported Washington’s draft calling for the “peaceful restoration of democracy” in Venezuela and demanding that incumbent leftist President Nicolas Maduro allow US humanitarian aid to enter the oil-rich nation.
Voting against were veto-wielding Russia and China, along with South Africa. Indonesia, Equatorial Guinea and Ivory Coast abstained.
Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said that he had to resort to the veto to block US attempts to effect “regime change” in Venezuela.
“We drafted an alternative draft resolution, the aim of which is not to incite political intrigues and regime change but rather to genuinely help the
Venezuelan people in efforts to normalize the situation in the country,” he said.
Only China, South Africa and Equatorial Guinea joined Russia in voting for Nebenzia’s text, which emphasized Venezuelan sovereignty and the right of Venezuelans to resolve their problems without outside interference.
The US special representative for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, criticized the opponents of Washington’s resolution.
“By voting against this resolution some members of this council continue to shield Maduro and his cronies and prolong the suffering of the Venezuelan people. This man-made crisis has extended well beyond Venezuela’s borders and threatens to destabilize the region,” he said.
Abrams was referring to clashes that occurred last Saturday as Guaido supporters tried to force their way into Venezuela with US-donated aid rejected by Maduro as a stalking horse for military invention.
Four people died on the Brazilian border and more than 200 others were injured in disturbances on the boundary with Colombia.
“Regardless of the results of today’s vote, this resolution shows that democracies around the world, and especially in Latin America, are mobilizing behind interim president Guaido,” Abrams said.
Venezuela’s representative to the UN, Samuel Moncada, denounced the US and its European allies as “colonial powers” using humanitarianism as a pretext for “pillage.”