US requests meeting of UN Security Council to discuss 'ongoing crisis' in Venezuela

US requests meeting of UN Security Council to discuss 'ongoing crisis' in Venezuela
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The United States on Thursday requested a meeting of the United Nations (UN) Security Council this weekend to discuss the state of affairs in Venezuela as the Trump administration and other world leaders throw support behind the country's opposition leader.

The U.S. Mission to the United Nations said in a tweet that the meeting will take place on Saturday morning "to discuss the ongoing crisis in Venezuela." 

President TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE on Wednesday issued an official statement recognizing Juan Guaidó, the head of Venezuela's National Assembly, as the country's interim president amid nationwide protests against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's government.

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Canada, the Organization of American States, and a host of Latin American countries including Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Colombia followed the U.S. in recognizing Guaido's claim to power.

In response, Maduro broke off relations with the U.S. and gave American diplomats 72 hours to leave the country. Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoThe CIA's next mission: Strategic competition with China and Russia Biden, Trump tied in potential 2024 match-up: poll Why is Trump undermining his administration's historic China policies? MORE later  hit back at the Venezuelan president, stating that Maduro does not have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations with the United States.

"The United States does not consider former president Nicolas Maduro to have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations with the United States or to declare our diplomats persona non grata," Pompeo said in a statement.

Pompeo also cautioned that the U.S. would take "appropriate actions" to deal with anyone who endangered U.S. personnel.

The Trump administration has imposed numerous sanctions on Venezuelan businesses and those close to Maduro in recent months as the country's humanitarian and economic crises worsen. The U.S. and several other nations declared Maduro's recent re-election and subsequent inauguration illegitimate.

Trump said Wednesday that "all options are on the table" for additional action in Venezuela.

National security adviser John Bolton did not directly address questions on Thursday about whether that would include military action, telling reporters that Trump's comment "speaks for itself."

"What we’re focusing on today is disconnecting the illegitimate Maduro regime from the source of its revenues," Bolton said.

"We’re speaking with governments in this hemisphere which have overwhelmingly recognize the new constitutional government," he added. "We’re talking to our colleagues in Europe and elsewhere to demonstrate widespread political support for the interim presidency, and we’re moving to do everything we can to strengthen this new legitimate representative government.”

The U.S. does not have a full-time U.N. ambassador. Trump has nominated Heather Nauert, the spokeswoman for the State Department, to replace Nikki HaleyNikki HaleyUS rejoins UN Human Rights Council, reversing Trump exit Smarkets betting site makes Trump favorite in 2024 Nikki Haley gets lifetime post on Clemson Board of Trustees MORE. Jonathan Cohen is serving as the acting ambassador pending Nauert's confirmation.