A draft of the American resolution on the Security Council agenda for Thursday, seen by The New York Times, does not include any language that could be construed as the basis for a military intervention in Venezuela, addressing the concerns expressed by other countries who do not want to see the crisis turn into a war.
Nonetheless, a key passage of the resolution, which expresses “deep concern that the presidential elections of May 20, 2018, were neither free nor fair,” seemed bound to provoke Russian objections.
The draft also called for “the start of a peaceful political process leading to free, fair, and credible presidential elections, with international electoral observation, in conformity with Venezuela’s Constitution.”
Other provisions stressed “the importance of ensuring the security” of political opposition members — a clear reference to Mr. Guaidó and his associates — and the need to “facilitate unhindered access and delivery of assistance to all in need.”
Mr. Maduro is not popular in Venezuela, where hunger and deprivation have intensified in recent years and hyperinflation has made the national currency nearly worthless. More than 3.4 million Venezuelans have fled to neighboring countries.
Russia and other defenders of Mr. Maduro blame Venezuela’s crisis on American sanctions imposed on the country, including the recent seizure of assets belonging to the state oil company, Pdvsa, the government’s main source of revenue.
The Trump administration has increasingly focused on Venezuela’s economic calamity, seeking to frame it as a lesson in the failures of socialism, in what appears to be part of President Trump’s own 2020 re-election strategy.
Mr. Trump gave an anti-Maduro speech last week at a rally in Miami attended by disaffected Venezuelans, declaring that the demise of socialism in their country was imminent and warning that Mr. Maduro’s loyalists in the military should abandon him or “lose everything.”