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 RubioTensions swirl around Iran as administration to brief Congress Tensions swirl around Iran as administration to brief Congress Ending the Cyprus arms embargo will increase tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean MORE (R-Fla.) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezEnding the Cyprus arms embargo will increase tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean We can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's The Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison MORE (D-N.J.) in a letter on Thursday urged President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE to take up action on Venezuela and its president, Nicolás Maduro.  

The senators requested that Trump direct "[United Nations] Ambassador Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyWill Trump ignore the Constitution and stay in White House beyond his term? Trump taps ex-State spokeswoman Heather Nauert to help oversee White House fellowships Conservatives slam Omar over tweet on Gaza violence 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 TillersonOvernight Defense: Trump rails against media coverage | Calls reporting on Iran tensions 'highly inaccurate' | GOP senator blocking Trump pick for Turkey ambassador | Defense bill markup next week Trump frustrated with advisers over Iran, wants to speak to leaders in Tehran: report Juan Williams: Trump's scorecard is rife with losses 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 SessionsMSNBC host: Barr 'the most dangerous person' who works for Trump Chris Wallace: AG Barr 'clearly is protecting' Trump Appeals court rules Trump end of DACA was unlawful 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."