US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Envoy to the United Nations Security Council Vasily Nebenzya traded barbs on the political situation of Venezuela during an emergency meeting of the Council in New York City on Saturday.
Pompeo accused Russia of supporting an “illegitimate mafia state” in order to further their own economic interests, adding it was “not a surprise that those who rule without democracy in their own countries are trying to prop up Maduro while he is in dire straits.”
The US Secretary of State appealed to UN member states to support self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guiado, urging nations in the council to “pick a side” on the issue.
“No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem,” Pompeo told the council.
In turn, Russian envoy Vasily Nebenzya said it was clear that the US was perpetuating a colonialist attitude towards Latin America reminiscent of the Monroe Doctrine and that they were “pushing the Venezuelan society to the edge of a blood bath.”
Nebenzya lambasted the US for its relationship with Latin American countries, arguing it treats them as “an area of exclusive interest to the United States, a kind of backyard where you can do anything you want, without taking into account the interests of the people living there.”
Trumps statement that “all options are on the table” was also interrogated by Nebenzya, who asked Pompeo to clarify to the Security Council whether the United States is willing to use military force in Venezuela.
The political situation in Venezuela is unclear after Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term as President and Venezuelan opposition leader and head of the National Assembly Guaido declared the inauguration illegitimate, announcing himself interim president.
On Wednesday, Maduro condemned the decision of a number of countries to recognise Guaido as Venezuela’s acting president and broke diplomatic ties with Washington.