Pence asks UN to recognize Guaidó as Venezuela's president

Vice President Pence on Wednesday took the Trump administration's Venezuela policy to the United Nations, seeking global recognition of opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the South American country's president.
 
In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Pence warned that Venezuela under President Nicolás Maduro "is a failed state, and failed states know no boundaries."
 
"With all due respect, Mr. Ambassador, you shouldn’t be here. You should return to Venezuela and tell Nicolás Maduro that his time is up. It’s time for him to go," Pence said, directing his comments to Venezuela's Ambassador to the U.N. Samuel Moncada.
 
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Pence made an appeal for the General Assembly and the U.N. Security Council to follow in the footsteps of the Organization of American States (OAS), which on Tuesday recognized Guaidó's designated ambassador to OAS over Maduro's envoy.
 
U.N. recognition must go through the Security Council, where the five permanent members — the United States, China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom — have veto power.
 
The United States in February introduced a Security Council resolution recognizing Guaidó's claim to the presidency, but China and Russia voted against it.
 
"And while Russia and China continue to obstruct at the Security Council, rogue states like Iran and Cuba are doing all they can to prop up the Maduro regime," Pence told the General Assembly.
 
He argued that a majority of countries in the Western Hemisphere have made clear their support for Guaidó, and he said the world should follow their lead.
 
Pence added that the Maduro government is in power only because of Cuban support, though he said there is increased backing from Iran as well.
 
"For decades, Cuba has tried to create client states across our region. While normal countries export goods, Cuba exports tyranny and strong-arm tactics," Pence said.
 
The Trump administration has made Venezuelan regime change a top foreign policy priority, pressing regional allies to join in sanctioning individuals connected to the Maduro government.
 
Guaidó in January took an oath as the country's interim president following Maduro's reelection, which most international observers deemed illegitimate.
 
Guaidó's popularity and tightened U.S. sanctions hit Venezuela, but Maduro has successfully kept power and remains in control of the country's military.