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Venezuela's top diplomat launches dozens of nations support to counter U.S.



UNITED NATIONS – Venezuela's Foreign Minister said on Thursday that a new coalition of nations would fight what he called an illegal US-led effort to overthrow his government, and he accused the United States of using sanctions and relief as political weapons against Venezuelans.

"We all have the right to live without the threat of the use of force and without the use of illegal, coercive unilateral measures," Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza told reporters at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

He described US-led acts as violations of UN's charter provisions that prohibit threats or disruptions in a member's internal affairs.

"We are an important group of countries confident that the majority of members of this organization share the same interests," said Mr arreaza and read a statement outside the Security Council chambers.

He was flanked by ambassadors from several countries who joined the group, including China, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia and Syria. Diplomats said the group consisted of about 50 nations.

Mr. Arreaza did not specify what steps the group would take, but said it would "start a series of actions to raise awareness of the dangers our people face."

Arreaza's remarks constituted the most concerted effort but by the Venezuelan government to mobilize support for President Nicolás Maduro of the United Nations and kill the Trump administration as a vengeance in the Venezuelan crisis.

Trump administration and governments of about 5 other nations, including Canada, Brazil and many in the EU, have recognized Mr Guaidó. President Trump has also imposed serious sanctions on Venezuela, including a halt to all imports of Venezuelan oil, the country's lifeline export, as part of a press campaign aimed at forcing Mr. Maduro to step back.

UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, has offered to help mediate the political crisis in Venezuela. But as far as the United Nations is concerned, Mr. Maduro's government remains Venezuela's legitimate representative.

While Guaidó has named his own ambassador in the United States, he has not taken steps to remove the Venezuelan mission to the United Nations. Diplomats have said that such a change would require a vote from the 193 Member's General Assembly that Mr. Guaidós side would probably lose.

Answer questions from journalists, mr. Arreaza accused a February 23 deadline that Mr. Guaidó had put in place the import of humanitarian supplies to ease acute shortages of food and medicine in Venezuela. The US has said it would send at least $ 20 million.

Mr. Maduro, his foreign minister said, is the only one in Venezuela who can make deadlines, and he has refused to let the aid enter the country. Mr. Arreaza accused the US of causing the deprivations and mistakenly arguing this was Mr. Maduro's fault.

"The US has blocked our economy," Arreaza said. "The cost of this blockade is over $ 30 billion – and they send the so-called humanitarian aid to $ 20 million. So what is this? I stifle you, I kill you, and then I give you a cookie? So it's a show . "


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