US to urge UNSC members to recognise Venezuela’s Guaido

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The United States (US) will use an open meeting of the United Nations (UN) Security Council Saturday to urge member countries to recognise Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the Interim President of the country.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requested the Council meeting after several countries in the region and elsewhere recognized the head of the opposition-led National Assembly viewing the second-term of incumbent Nicolas Maduro as illegitimate due to allegations of vote-rigging in last May’s disputed election.

Russia has already indicated that it would oppose any efforts to recognize the opposition leader at the Security Council.

According to a Statement by the State Department, Pompeo is expected to underscore the US Administration’s support for the Venezuelan people and urge the Council and the international community to uphold international peace and security by recognising Guaido as the constitutional interim President of Venezuela.

As Reuters first reported, Russia’s envoy said they would oppose any such push by Washington and will likely find backing from other Council members.

“South Africa’s position hasn’t changed. We still recognize the Government of President Maduro as the legitimate government of Venezuela, so that has not changed from South African position. As to whether Venezuela threatens peace and security, we’ll listen to what Mike Pompeo might have to say,” says Jerry Matjila who is the South African Ambassador.

The European Union (UE) for its part has called for the start of an immediate political process in the country leading to free and credible elections in conformity with the country’s constitution.

“We tried to express a common view from the EU on that from the beginning of the crisis and the request is to have an open dialogue in Venezuela to have a new political process for the organisation, of credible elections because we recognize the National Assembly which is truly elected by the population, we recognize also its President but we need to have a dialogue to organize credible elections and that is the next step in Venezuela so we’ll try to express the same view from the five member states coming from the EU,” says the Belgian foreign Minister, Didier Reynders.

While regional countries Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Canada have recognised Guaido, none of the other Permanent members of the Security Council have formally backed his Presidency.