Venezuela CRISIS: US on course for SHOWDOWN with China and Russia over election demand

Saturday, February 9, 2019
By Paul Martin

THE UNITED States is facing a showdown with Russia and China over Venezuela as Washington continues in its mission to oust Nicolas Maduro as head of the crisis-hit country.

By HARVEY GAVIN
Express.co.uk
Sat, Feb 9, 2019

US diplomats are pushing the UN Security Council to throw its weight behind a free, fair and credible presidential election with the aim of replacing the under-siege Maduro with opposition leader and National Assembly head Juan Guaido. But the move is facing fierce opposition from Maduro’s allies, Russia and China, who are seeking to block any foreign intervention. Diplomats from the 15 Security Council members met privately on Friday afternoon to discuss the US-drafted resolution that would express “full support” for Venezuela’s National Assembly and recognise it “as the only democratically elected institution”.

During talks on the draft resolution on Friday, Russia – which has accused Washington of backing a coup attempt in Venezuela – proposed an alternative text, diplomats said.

The alternative is aimed at blocking intervention from overseas by expressing “concern over the attempts to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction”.

It would also express “concern over the threats to use force against the territorial integrity and political independence” of Venezuela.

However it is unclear whether either draft will make it as far as a vote.

A council resolution needs nine votes and no vetoes by the United States, Britain, France, Russia or China to pass.

This attempt to force elections in Venezuela comes as nearly 50 countries have recognised Guaido as the country’s rightful leader.

Maduro cruised to re-election in May last year amid low turnout and allegations of vote-buying by the government.

Country-wide protests erupted shortly after he was sworn in for a second term as demonstrators furious at the worsening economic crisis vented their anger.

But as long as Maduro retains the loyalty of Venezuela’s powerful military, he is unlikely to step aside voluntarily.

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