The United Nations Security Council met on Wednesday afternoon in a closed-door briefing to discuss the ongoing political crisis in Venezuela for the first time.
The meeting, requested by the United States, comes as the death toll rises to at least 42 since the latest round of protests began in April.
“In Venezuela, we are on the verge of humanitarian crisis. Peaceful protesters have been injured, arrested and even killed by their own government. Medicine is unavailable, hospitals lack supplies, and it’s become difficult to find food.
For the sake of the Venezuelan people, and the security of the region, we must work together to ensure [President] Maduro ends this violence and oppression and restores democracy to the people.”
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley
Britain’s Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft said if things go wrong, Venezuela could “descend into conflict,” which would pose a “threat to international peace and security.” He said the council needed to use Wednesday’s discussion to act in any way possible.
Venezuela’s UN Ambassador Rafael Ramírez defended the government, stating they repudiate the reported deaths – both the numbers and who is killing protesters. Ramírez also stated that protesters “take advantage of the fact that agencies do not use weapons to control public order.”