A senior U.S. ambassador this week walked out of the United Nations-sponsored Conference on Disarmament (CD) in protest of the Venezuelan envoy assuming the rotating presidency of the forum – even as his boss, socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro, stands accused of crimes against humanity and mercilessly turning his weapons against hundreds of his people.
Maduro has also not been the legitimate president of Venezuela since January when his term expired and the country’s National Assembly appointed Juan Guaidó interim president until free and fair elections can be held. Thus, Maduro’s U.N. envoy is not a legitimate member of the conference.
American Ambassador Robert Wood said U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration boycotted the CD on Tuesday because it awarded the month-long presidency of the forum to a member Maduro’s regime.
The U.S., along with about 50 other countries, has come out in support of Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela, but the Russian, Chinese, Syria, Hezbollah-backed drug kingpin Maduro refuses to relinquish power and continues to demonstrate that, along with his supporters, he has no qualms about using lethal power against his opponents.
“Because the United States continues to see value in the Conference on Disarmament and remains committed to its potential, we are again compelled to take a principled stand in support of this august body’s noble ideals,” Amb. Wood declared, Fox News reported.
“The United States, therefore, condemns, in the strongest terms, Venezuela’s presidency of this body while it is represented by members of the illegitimate Maduro regime. As such, we will boycott the CD for the next four weeks – the duration of Venezuela’s presidency,” he continued.
The U.N. conference primarily deals with arms control and disarmament problems linked to nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. However, the CD website states that the conference tackles “practically all multilateral arms control and disarmament problems.”
“Those who sit in Venezuela’s seat today represent the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro, and thus are not speaking on behalf of the Venezuelan people,” Wood proclaimed. “To participate in the CD under their presidency would lend credibility and legitimacy to this illegitimate, morally bankrupt, economically incompetent, profoundly corrupt, and inhumane regime.”
On Tuesday, Reuters noted that Latin American officials from countries including Argentina, Brazil, and Chile stayed away from the Conference, while Maduro supporters Syria and Russia blasted what they described as the politicization of the conference by the United States.
“We regret that the representative of the United States and its docile allies continue to bring to this forum matters that are outside the mandate of the CD,” Maduro Amb. Jorge Valero told reporters.
It is the responsibility of international body to promote peace and security, but the U.N. has refused to pull the Maduro envoy’s credentials, which would have followed in the steps of the Organization of American States (OAS), a similar multi-national organization mainly made up of Latin American and Caribbean leaders has already done sone.
There are Maduro-Guaidó talks underway, but it remains unclear if the dictator will give up power.
The United States has boycotted the conference in the past when Syria took over the presidency.
“Clearly, when you have regimes like the Assad regime and the Maduro regime presiding over this body, there is something fundamentally wrong with how we are conducting our business. And we need to examine that,” Wood told reporters,” Reuters reported.
The deputy U.S. ambassador to the U.N. stressed that the Trump administration would remain steadfast in holding those responsible for Venezuela’s insecurity, economic collapse, and humanitarian crisis, fueled by Maduro and his predecessors failed socialist policies.
“The United States remains committed to holding accountable those responsible for Venezuela’s tragic decline and will continue to use the full sweep of its diplomatic and economic tools to support interim president Juan Guaido, the National Assembly and the Venezuelan people’s effort to restore their democracy,” Amb. Cynthia Plath said.
Trump administration officials have not ruled out military action to deal with Venezuela’s chaos.
“Senior U.S. and Venezuelan diplomats traded jibes at a U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday, a day after the Trump administration imposed sanctions on the state-owned oil firm PDVSA in its toughest financial challenge yet to embattled President Nicolas Maduro,” Reuters noted.
The Maduro official’s turn in the CD presidency follows in the alphabetical order of members.