THE UNITED NATIONS, January 26. /TASS/. There exists proof that the United States put pressure on Venezuelan presidential candidates to undermine the elections, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said on Saturday at a UN Security Council emergency meeting on Venezuela.
"On May 20, 2018, the Venezuelans again supported Nicolas Maduro as president with nearly 68% of the vote," the Russian ambassador said. "Foreseeing such a scenario, Washington did its best to undermine the vote in advance, casting a shadow on the country’s renewed governmental agencies."
"In particular, there is enough evidence that some opposition candidates experienced extremely tough pressure so that they would drop their presidential bids and quit the presidential race," Nebenzia said.
US unscrupulous games
The Unites States appear poised to draw the United Nations Security Council into unscrupulous games aimed to destabilize Venezuela and oust the government in that Latin American country, Nebenzia said.
"Today’s event convened by the American delegation with the only goal to keep destabilizing the situation in Venezuela by imposing own attitudes and solutions to the problems it has been faced with recently," the diplomat said.
"The meeting we all have to attend is another part of the US strategy to change power in Venezuela," he stressed. "We regret that the Security Council is being drawn into those unscrupulous games".
European countries’ disrespect for Venezuela’s sovereignty
The European countries that have urged Venezuela to call elections within eight days show disrespect to the country’s sovereignty, Nebenzia said.
"Unconditionally, crises are better to be avoided than solved," he stressed. "However, you suggest a specific solution to this crisis, giving an eight-day ultimatum. You totally ignore Venezuela’s sovereignty by imposing the solutions suitable to you [on Caracas].".
Russia firmly condemns attempts to push Venezuela into an abyss of a deadly civil war, Russia’s Permanent Representative added. "We vehemently condemn those who are pushing Venezuelan society into an abyss of a deadly strife," he said. "The United States is depicting a picture of confrontation between ‘Maduro’s regime’ and the Venezuelans. The picture is far from being true, as Venezuela’s leader enjoys evident support among the people".
"You are not calling to seek understanding between Venezuela’s political forces in the interests of peace and order," Nebenzia said to German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen, responding to the latter’s remarks. "What you are doing is called instigation but not prevention."
"How would you respond if Russia submitted to the United Nations Security Council an issue of ‘the situation in France and Yellow Vest protests’? Would you take this as prevention?" he asked France’s Deputy Permanent Representative Anne Gueguen.
"I want to set the French respected representative’s mind at ease. We will not be putting that forward," Nebenzia added.
Venezuela’s crisis may be replayed in other Latin American states
Vassily Nebenzia has warned that in case the United States’ steps in Venezuela are appeased, any Latin American nation might be faced with the same crisis.
"I would like to tell our Latin American partners. Do you realize that in case you appease these actions, any Latin American nation might find itself in Venezuela’s shoes? The illegality of what they are going to do with Venezuela is outrageous, but the Organization of American States just ‘renders a salute’ and, following Washington, ’rubberstamps’ threats against a sovereign state," Nebenzia said.
Maduro has no need in Russia’s protection
Nicolas Maduro does not need Russia’s protection as he is the constitutional president of Venezuela, Nebenzia told.
"I don't think he needs our protection. He is the constitutional president, he has his army," Nebenzia said. "I don't think he needs protection".
On January 23, Venezuelan parliament speaker and opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US.
Several countries, including the Lima Group (excluding Mexico), the United States, Albania, Georgia, Switzerland and the Organization of American States, have recognized him.
Russia, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, Salvador and Turkey voiced support for Maduro, while China and Belarus called for resolving all differences peacefully and warned against foreign interference. The United Nations secretary general, in turn, called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.