The United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley described Venezuela as an “increasingly violent narco-state” at a Security Council meeting that Venezuela and other allies boycotted.
“The situation unfolding in Venezuela is more than a human tragedy,” Haley said during the meeting. “The crisis in Venezuela today poses a direct threat to international peace and security. Venezuela is an increasingly violent narco-state that threatens the region, the hemisphere, and the world.”
Countries including Egypt, Bolivia, China, and Russia all boycotted the meeting, with Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accusing America of “meddling with the internal domestic affairs of Venezuela.”
“We received pressure from regional partners not to have this meeting,” Haley said. “This goal is not to degrade anyone. This is not to humiliate a region. This is only to lift up the region.”
“Today, families struggle to live on just about eight dollars a month,” she continued. “The result is that Venezuela’s neighbors are paying the bill for the violence and poverty the corrupt Maduro regime has inflicted on its people. … The fact that the (Venezuelan) government would go so far as to try and get people not to show up to a meeting is guilt. And that’s unfortunate.”
The country is currently experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis in its history, with millions living in abject poverty amid skyrocketing rates of inflation and a chronic lack of basic resources such as food, medicine, electricity, and sanitary products.
A report carried out by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in September also found an “increasingly critical human rights situation” in Venezuela, amid “mounting levels of repression of political dissent by national security forces, and increasing stigmatization and persecution of people perceived as opposing the Government of President Maduro.”
Venezuela’s ambassador, Rafael Dario Ramirez, dismissed the meeting as a “hostile and clearly interfering act of the United States that undermines the principle of sovereignty of a member state of the United Nations.”
“We condemn this act of political manipulation,” he added.
The meeting took place amid growing international pressure against the Maduro-led regime as the country rapidly descends into a dictatorship with a series of fraudulent elections and the creation of an illegal lawmaking body designed to usurp the power of elected officials.
Evidence of large-scale drug trafficking has also grown in recent months. The U.S. Council of Foreign Relations confirmed in May that drug traffickers, including the notorious Mexican Sinaloa and Zeta cartels, as well as potential jihadists, are being allowed to freely operate in Venezuela without fear of reprisal.
In recent months, the United States has increased pressure on the regime with an array of economic sanctions on Venezuela’s state-run oil company, as well as the freezing of assets and travel bans for dozens of leading government officials.
On Monday, the European Union approved sanctions and an arms embargo against Venezuela in an attempt to increase pressure against the regime, and on Tuesday it was announced that the country had defaulted on its debt.