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U.S. Blocks Russia's UN Text on Mercenaries in Venezuela

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced earlier this month that the country's military had thwarted a beachfront invasion that was allegedly planned at the White House and carried out by mercenaries. Daniel Garzon Herazo / ZUMA / TASS

The United States refused to adopt a UN text written by Russia Wednesday denouncing the use of mercenaries in a supposed plot to overthrow the Venezuelan government.

The U.S. rejected the document during a Security Council meeting organized at the request of Moscow, which backs Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The leftist Venezuelan leader announced earlier this month that the country's military had thwarted a beachfront invasion that was allegedly planned at the White House and carried out by mercenaries.

Among arrests made by Venezuela were two former U.S. soldiers who have been charged with "terrorism, conspiracy, illicit trafficking of weapons of war and (criminal) association."

Russian Deputy Ambassador to the UN Dmitri Polyanskiy called on Security Council members "to unequivocally condemn the attempt of invasion in Venezuelan sovereign territory."

The short text proposed that the Council reiterated its rejection of "the use or threat of use of force" under resolutions linked to the "condemnation of terrorism" and use of mercenaries.

However U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft rejected the document, which she said made "fantastical accusations" against the United States, pointing out that Russia and Cuba "routinely send military officers and mercenaries" into Venezuela.

The United States and some 50 other nations recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president.

At the meeting Rosemary DiCarlo, the UN undersecretary-general for political affairs, urged a negotiated agreement but said "the path of negotiation seems stalled." 

"Venezuela is mired in a deepening protracted crisis that only Venezuelans can resolve," she said.

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