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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 RubioSunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus Rubio: Biden 'talking like a centrist' but governing 'from the radical left' The Hill's Morning Report - Biden's crisis agenda hits headwinds MORE (R-Fla.) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezBiden must wait weekend for State Department pick Senate presses Biden's pick for secretary of State on Iran, China, Russia and Yemen Year-end deal creates American Latino, women's history museums MORE (D-N.J.) in a letter on Thursday urged President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE to take up action on Venezuela and its president, Nicolás Maduro.  

The senators requested that Trump direct "[United Nations] Ambassador Nikki HaleyNikki HaleyTrump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial Can we protect our country — from our rulers, and ourselves? In calling out Trump, Nikki Haley warns of a more sinister threat 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 TillersonBiden must wait weekend for State Department pick Tillerson: 'We squandered the best opportunity we had on North Korea' State Department sets up new bureau for cybersecurity and emerging technologies 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 SessionsHarris to resign from Senate seat on Monday Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Sessions, top DOJ officials knew 'zero tolerance' would separate families, watchdog finds 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."