WORLD

Russia at UN accuses US of coup attempt in Venezuela

Russia says the United States should give a clear answer on whether Washington is willing to use military force in Venezuela, in a meeting in New York on Saturday.

"I'm not going to speculate or hypothesize what the U.S. will do next," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters after the meeting.

Russia's U.N. ambassador Vassily Nebenzia called the actions of the U.S. "shameless and aggressive," and an attempt at a coup d'etat.

Moscow also accused the U.S. of using the U.N. Security Council as part of an "unethical ploy" to effect regime change in Venezuela.

Moscow's U.N. ambassador Vassily Nebenzia harked back to previous U.S. interventions in Latin American countries, such as Nicaragua, and said the U.S. still considers Latin America its "backyard."

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the meeting ahead of Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza and other council members, which include supporters of both dueling presidents.

The session focusing on Venezuela's crisis comes a day after Guaido vowed to remain on the streets until his country has a transitional government, while Maduro dug in and accused his opponents of orchestrating a coup.

Maduro is accusing the opposition of working with the U.S. to overthrow him. Though over a dozen nations, as well as the Inter-American Development Bank, are recognizing Guaido as president, Maduro still has the support of the military and powerful, longtime allies like Russia and China and is vowing to defend his socialist rule.

"This is nothing more than a coup d'etat, ordered, promoted, financed and supported by the government of the United States," Maduro said Friday. "They intend to put a puppet government in Venezuela, destroy the state and take colonial control of the country."

But he added that he was still willing to talk with the opposition even if he "had to go naked."

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