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UN Security Council Rejects U.S., Russia Resolutions On Venezuela

A demonstrator holds a Venezuelan flag on a bridge in Urena, Venezuela, on the border with Colombia.

The UN Security Council has rejected rival resolutions on the crisis in Venezuela presented by the United States and Russia.

The United States supports opposition leader Juan Guaido, while Russia backs leftist President Nicolas Maduro, who has been criticized for alleged human rights abuses and for his handling of Venezuela's economy.

A resolution needs nine votes to pass the 15-member Council and no vetoes by the permanent members -- the United States, Russia, China, France, and Britain.

The U.S. resolution received the minimum nine votes on February 28, forcing Russia and China to use their veto rights.

The vote on the Russian resolution was four in favor, seven opposed, and four abstentions.

The U.S. draft urged "the peaceful restoration of democracy" in Venezuela, "free, fair, and credible" presidential elections, and unobstructed delivery of humanitarian aid to all Venezuelans in need.

President Donald Trump has said all options are on the table in dealing with Venezuela.

Maduro has blocked aid deliveries from the United States, saying they are part of a plot by Washington to remove him from office.

The Russian draft voiced concern at threats to use force against Venezuela and interfere in the country's domestic affairs.

Maduro took office in 2013 after the death of Hugo Chavez, and was sworn in for a second term in January following elections in May 2018 that were marred by an opposition boycott and claims of vote-rigging.

With reporting by AP and Reuters
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