Rubio, Menendez push for emergency UN session on Venezuela

Rubio, Menendez push for emergency UN session on Venezuela
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioPeace Corps' sudden decision to leave China stirs blowback Lawmakers raise concerns over Russia's growing influence in Venezuela USDA takes heat as Democrats seek probe into trade aid MORE (R-Fla.) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezMenendez calls for 'Marie Yovanovitch bill' to protect foreign service employees Senators condemn UN 'blacklisting' of US companies in Israeli settlements Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE (D-N.J.) in a letter on Thursday urged President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record MORE to take up action on Venezuela and its president, Nicolás Maduro.  

The senators requested that Trump direct "[United Nations] Ambassador Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyLatest Bolton revelations are no game-changer Is Mike Pence preparing to resign, assume the presidency, or both? Judd Apatow urges Georgia voters to get rid of Doug Collins after 'terrorists' comment MORE to call for the United Nations Security Council to hold an emergency session or related meeting on Venezuela, and for the United Nations to create a special envoy for Venezuela to monitor and address these issues."

Rubio and Menendez accused Maduro of supporting drug cartels and terror organizations, as well as abusing political opponents and causing an economic crisis in his country. 

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The letter says the issues are evidence of the Maduro regime's efforts to "promote instability in the Western Hemisphere."

The senators also urged Trump to work with Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump lashes out over Kelly criticism: 'He misses the action' Timeline: Trump and Romney's rocky relationship Top Democrat demands Barr recuse himself from case against Turkish bank MORE to ensure that the South American country remains a priority and to use all diplomatic tools to "promote peace and accountability in Venezuela."

Menendez and Rubio sent a separate letter to Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAlabama Senate contender hits Sessions in new ad: 'Hillary still ain't in jail' Barr back on the hot seat McCabe: 'I don't think I will ever be free of this president and his maniacal rage' MORE on Wednesday, calling for the Justice Department to probe allegations of drug trafficking against senior Venezuelan officials. 

"This lawless environment threatens the stability and security of the region, including the United States, by providing fertile ground for drug cartels and U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations, such as the FARC and ELN, to operate," the senators wrote. 

Tensions between Washington and Caracas have increased in recent months. 

The U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela in July after Maduro called for a vote to rewrite the country's constitution. 

The Treasury Department announced earlier this month it had issued sanctions against four Venezuelan military officials for "corruption and repression."