Venezuela's UN ambassador: 'foreign powers' like Trump trying to destabilize legitimate government

Samuel Moncada, the U.N. ambassador for Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro’s government, claimed Tuesday that foreign interventions are the reason for his country’s current destabilization.

“We need to stop the criminals,” he told reporters at the United Nations, calling out especially President Trump for his “criminal action.”

“Stop Trump,” Moncada said.

He also said the attempted military uprising in Venezuela was an "attempt by foreign powers to spark a civil war."

He added, “This media operation for destabilization has relied on the immediate complicity from abroad.”


The U.S. views Maduro’s re-election last year as illegitimate, with Donald Trump calling the election a “sham.” The U.S. has recognized Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader of the National Assembly, as interim president.

Venezuelan opposition leaders calling for a military uprising against the government of Maduro gained quick messages of support Tuesday from the Trump administration amid a possible turning point in the South American nation’s political crisis.

Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton all expressed support for the opposition as its two most prominent figures, Guaidó and Leopoldo Lopez, stood with soldiers and called for the people, and the security forces, to rise up against Maduro.

The U.N. said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is urging all sides in Venezuela to exercise “maximum restraint,” avoid any violence and take immediate steps to restore calm.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters Tuesday that Guterres’ “message publicly and privately has been to push for dialogue in order to resolve this peacefully.”


Dujarric said the secretary-general also wants the Venezuelan people to understand “that his good offices remain available should both sides request them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.