Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has refused to allow any US-sponsored aid into the country, calling it a "fake show" and accusing Washington of trying to use it as a ploy to oust him from power. Moreover, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross have urged Washington not to deliver aid without the consent of the Venezuelan government.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido conspired with the United States to try and force unauthorized humanitarian aid across Venezuela's borders on Saturday. The move led to border clashes and prompted Caracas to sever diplomatic and political relations with neighboring Colombia.
On Monday, in the wake of the failure to deliver aid to Venezuela, US officials called for a UN Security Council meeting. The meeting is scheduled to take place at 3:00 p.m. EST (8:00 p.m. GMT) at UN headquarters in New York.
The United States is expected to urge the Security Council to call for new presidential elections in Venezuela. Earlier in the month, media reported that the United States would like to submit its own draft UNSC resolution.
South African Ambassador to the United Nations, Jerry Matthews Matjila, told Sputnik that any humanitarian aid to Venezuela must be with the agreement of the government of Maduro.
Guaido and the opposition-led National Assembly disputed Maduro's May re-election victory. As a result Guaido declared himself interim president last month and was backed by the United States and several US allies, who are all now calling for new elections.
US Multi-Front Offensive
The scheduling of the Security Council session comes after the United States imposed more sanctions on Venezuelan officials while US and opposition leaders vowed to intensify efforts to deliver aid.
Earlier on Monday, the US Treasury Department sanctioned four Venezuelan governors while Vice President Mike Pence announced that the United States would impose new, stronger sanctions against Venezuela’s government in coming days. He also called on the Lima Group countries to freeze the assets of Venezuela’s oil giant PDVSA.
Pence visited Bogota, Colombia, on Monday where he met with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, as well as other participants of the Lima Group to discuss the latest developments in Venezuela.
During the attempted delivery of humanitarian aid on the border with Colombia on Saturday, several trucks were burnt. However, no evidence has surfaced to support who is responsible for burning the vehicles.
According to Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), 335 people were injured as a result of clashes between law enforcement officers and protesters on Venezuela's borders with Colombia and Brazil.
Clashes on the border of Venezuela and Colombia continued on Sunday with the participation of Venezuelan migrants who were trying to get back into their country. Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia and a number of other states reaffirmed their support for constitutionally elected Maduro as Venezuela’s only legitimate president after the United States and several allies recognized Guaido.