The ongoing rift between Nicolas Maduro and Juan Guaido was brought to the international stage at the United Nations earlier this week. The Venezuelan foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, took the stage with representatives from Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Syria, China, and Russia to deliver a speech asking the General Assembly to prevent the United States and allied countries from applying any more pressure to the South American country. According to a report from Fox News, Arreaza paraphrased the United Nation’s charter supporting state sovereignty and called the recent presidential claim by Guaido a U.S.-backed coup.
“We all have the right to live without the threat of use of force and without application of illegal, coercive unilateral measures,” Arreaza said while speaking to reporters outside of the U.N. building in New York, according to Al Jazeera.
Fifty different countries are backing the socialist Maduro regime. According to the New York Times, the group is forming a coalition to fight against further U.S. sanctions on Venezuela. The group also opposes any additional U.S. aid packages intended for Venezuelan citizens. Since the crisis in Venezuela began in 2014, the Maduro regime has continued to blame the situation on the United States.
“The U.S. has blocked our economy,” said Arreaza. “The cost of this blockade is over $30 billion—and they are sending this so-called humanitarian aid for $20 million. So what is this? I’m choking you, I’m killing you, and then I’m giving you a cookie? So that’s a show.”
However, 65 countries have taken a stand against Maduro. According to a report from Al Jazeera, the U.S.-led group recognizes Juan Guaido as the legitimate interim president and wants to see democratic elections take place in Venezuela. The U.S. also placed new sanctions on five top Venezuelan leaders, including the country’s oil minister, Quevedo Fernandez, according to a report from Reuters.
“Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated five officials aligned with illegitimate former President Nicolas Maduro, who continue to repress democracy and democratic actors in Venezuela and engage in significant corruption and fraud against the people of Venezuela,” the U.S. Treasury said on Friday in a statement. “This action, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13692, targets the head of the Venezuelan National Intelligence Service (SEBIN), Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera, and SEBIN’s First Commissioner, Hildemaro Jose Rodriguez Mucura; the Commander of Venezuela’s Directorate General of Military Counter-Intelligence, Ivan Rafael Hernandez Dala; and the Director of the Venezuelan National Police’s Special Actions Force (FAES), Rafael Enrique Bastardo Mendoza. Additionally OFAC designated the illegitimate president of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), Manuel Salvador Quevedo Fernandez.”