In a week when President Donald Trump and his administration placed the spotlight on the humanitarian crisis brought on by Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro, a number of diplomats led by the U.S. walked out Friday during a speech by Maduro’s vice-president, Delcy Rodriguez, Fox News reported.
The walkout came as a note from the Venezuelan mission claimed the United States and partners were planning a vote at the General Assembly to prevent the representative of the Caracas regime from speaking.
Diplomats dismissed the exercise as a gimmick to get more countries in to watch the speech. The note sent out to missions from the Venezuelans, and reviewed by Fox News, appealed for allies to come out in force and be ready to vote against any U.S. proposal to challenge the credentials of the regime.
“The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United Nations must inform hereby of the intention of a group of delegations to request a vote in the General Assembly Hall in the afternoon of this coming Friday, 27 September 2019, to object the participation of and prevent H.E. Ms. Delcy Rodríguez Gómez, Vice-President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, from addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations,” the statement read.
The memo pleaded with allies to come and oppose any attempt to stop the speech and support Venezuela “in the General Assembly of the United Nations as its delegation does, both in the relevant procedural and substantive votes there may be at the time.”
In his address to the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that 4 million people have fled the country, which he called “one of the largest displacements in the world.”
President Trump, meanwhile, pulled no punches on the deteriorating situation in Caracas. In his speech to the General Assembly, he called Maduro “a Cuban puppet, protected by Cuban bodyguards, hiding from his own people, while Cubans plunder Venezuela’s oil wealth to sustain its own corrupt communist rule.”
Venezuela has descended into economic and social ruin, with conditions worsening as Maduro has been engaged in a tug-of-war for power with Juan Guaido, the U.S.-recognized president since elections this year. Its population has since been dogged by malnutrition, disease and violence, as well as accusations that the government is engaged in money laundering and supporting terrorism.