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Venezuela to refer issue of armed invasion attempt to UN Security Council — president

The Venezuelan foreign ministry is also drafting a complaint to the International Criminal Court
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro AP Photo/Matias Delacroix
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
© AP Photo/Matias Delacroix

BUENOS AIRES, May 6. /TASS/. The Venezuelan government will request the UN Security Council to offer an assessment of the attempted armed invasion into the Bolivarian Republic in early May, President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday.

"We will turn to the UN Security Council. I tasked the foreign minister and our envoy to New York with filing a complaint to the UN SC <...> in order to secure legitimate international protection for Venezuela," he said during an online press conference broadcast on Twitter.

He also said the Venezuelan foreign ministry was drafting a complaint to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

"I instructed the foreign minister to immediately draft an appeal to The Hague <…> containing video materials and other documents regarding the aggression of the US and Donald Trump’s government," he told a press conference.

Other measures

The Venezuelan government will seek the extradition of Jordan Goudreau, the head of the US-based private security firm Silvercorp, whom Caracas accuses of organizing the recent attempted coup, Maduro said.

"I believe that, in line with the US-Venezuelan extradition treaty, we need to demand the extradition of Mr. Jordan Goudreau, who admitted to crimes against public order, peace and security of Venezuela," he said.

Maduro also said that the decision on arresting opposition leader Juan Guaido, whom Venezuelan Prosecutor General Tarek William Saab earlier described as an inspirer of the failed coup, is to be made by the judge, not executive bodies.

"As far as Mr. Guaido is concerned, it is not for me to decide [on his possible arrest]," he said. "The decision is to be made by Venezuela’s judicial bodies. Prosecutors jointly with the court are to decide on whether he should be placed in custody or not."

So far, no official charges have been filed against Guaido.

Russia's reaction

The attempted armed incursion into Venezuela to topple its leader deserves strong condemnation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary on Wednesday.

"We learned with alarm information about an attempt by a group of mercenaries to land in Venezuela for terrorist attacks against representatives of legitimate authorities of that country and its leadership," the ministry said. "The actions of the mercenaries deserve absolute and strong condemnation. Especially now, when all countries, and Venezuela is not an exception, have faced a global merciless threat of the coronavirus pandemic, the fight against which necessitates joint efforts of all," it stressed. The ministry pointed out that according to Venezuelan law enforcement agencies, there were people linked to US intelligence agencies among the mercenaries.

It also cast doubt on the US denying any involvement in these developments. "It is no longer surprising that political tunnel thinking and a fixed idea to remove from power the legitimate president of Venezuela, phrases like ‘all options are on the table’ prevent some countries from realistically assessing the situation in new global conditions," the commentary said. The Foreign Ministry also noted that the masterminds of the failed operation had not tried to hide themselves, giving the details of their plan to reporters after which the New York Times issued a detailed report on the issue.

The ministry once again emphasized the necessity of a direct dialogue among the Venezuelans for a political settlement of the crisis in the country, as well as expressed support for an offer of a humanitarian agreement of all political forces in Venezuela coming from President Nicolas Maduro.

"We will continue doing everything necessary so that the people of Venezuela have a possibility to independently settle the problems facing them - peacefully, through a broad national dialogue, without dictation, ultimatums and sanctions. The mercenaries sent from outside of course have no place on the Venezuelan soil," the ministry summed up.

On May 3, the Venezuelan authorities announced that they had successfully foiled an attempt to infiltrate the country by a mercenary group travelling from Colombia looking to stage a coup in Venezuela. According to Maduro, among them were US citizens, who worked for the incumbent US president’s security service.

Colombia rejected the statement of the Venezuelan side. According to the Colombian authorities, Caracas is putting forward unfounded accusations against Bogota to distract from the country’s domestic issues.

The political crisis in Venezuela exacerbated on January 23, 2019, when Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas. Several countries, including the United States and most of the EU states recognized him.

Incumbent President of the country Nicolas Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US. In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.