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Russia, China veto US resolution on Venezuela

March 1, 2019

Russia blocked a US resolution on Venezuela in the UN, claiming the document was "written for regime change." In a video column for DW, Uruguay's former-President Jose Mujica urged the EU to push for talks in Venezuela.

Jose Mujica at a film festival in Venice, September 2018
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/K. Wigglesworth

The UN Security Council voted on two resolutions on Venezuela but failed to pass either one as the United States, Russia, and China clashed over the issue on Thursday.

Out of 15 Council members, nine countries, including Germany, France and the UK, voted in favor of the US-pitched draft which calls for a "peaceful restoration of democracy" and fair presidential elections, and expressed "deep concern" over aid blocks. However, Russia and China vetoed the document, with Russian envoy Vassily Nebenzia saying the text was "written for regime change, disguised as care for people."

"We have all seen this already in Libya, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan," he said.

Moscow put forward a rival document, which also called for a solution "through peaceful means," but noted concern over threats to use military force against the government led by Nicolas Maduro. The document also proposed all humanitarian aid deliveries be agreed with Maduro's officials.

Russia's draft only received backing from four of the members: Russia, China, South Africa and Equatorial Guinea. The United States also signaled it would use its veto if the document gained a majority.

US envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams decried countries that "continue to shield Maduro and his cronies and prolong the suffering of the Venezuelan people."

"Please Europe, do not be deaf"

Separately, Uruguay's former-President Jose Mujica warned of danger of a "new interventionist step" starting a war in Venezuela. In an exclusive video column for DW, Mujica claimed that the political standoff was in large part motivated by geopolitical rivalry between the United States and China for control over Venezuela's vast oil reserves.

Mujica called for using "politics to stave off war."

"There are possibilities to negotiate, if Europe wants it, if it asserts itself and helps," he added.

The ex-politician called for negotiations which would include all different factions of Venezuela's and lead to elections. The UN would need to provide guarantees for the process, he added.

He also repeatedly emphasized the "responsibilities of Europe, to whom we turn with desperation, so it would not let our Latin America become enveloped in a conflict which based on, unfortunately, on geopolitics."

"Please Europe, do not be deaf," Mujica said.

Interview with Uruguay's president José Mujica

dj/sms (AFP, AP, dpa)