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    UNSC to Hold Meeting on Venezuela Crisis Amid US Attempts to Escalate Pressure

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    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The UN Security Council is set to hold a meeting on the situation in Venezuela on Tuesday while the United States and its allies escalate tensions via a multi-pronged strategy that combines sanctions with attempts to deliver the so-called aid.

    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.

    Meeting Agendas

    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.

    READ MORE: Independence, Democracy Form Spirit of Bolivarian Revolution — Venezuela’s FM

    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.

    Russia had prepared its own draft document in support of Venezuela, calling on UN member-states to halt attempts to intervene in the Latin American country’s foreign affairs and stressing the need for a peaceful settlement to the crisis.

    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.

    READ MORE: ‘We are Closer Now to US Military Intervention in Venezuela’ — Campaigner

    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 meeting, Pence said that the United States will continue its efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance to Venezuela and will provide an additional $56 million to US allies in the region to help Venezuelan refugees.

    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.

    READ MORE: US Adviser Bolton Cancels Trip to South Korea to Focus on Venezuela Crisis

    Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez dismissed allegations that there is an alleged humanitarian crisis and noted that, according to international law, foreign aid should only be delivered in cases of natural disasters and armed conflicts, unless the government requests it.

    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.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Topic:
    Political Crisis in Venezuela (572)

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    Tags:
    meeting, pressure, humanitarian aid, UN Security Council (UNSC), Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro, United States, Venezuela
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