Haley Calls on Security Council to Focus on Venezuelan Crisis

(Bloomberg) -- The United Nations Security Council held consultations on the political turmoil in Venezuela that has left at least 43 dead as U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley urged the global body to focus on the crisis before it escalates further.

“We’ve been down this road, with Syria, with North Korea, with South Sudan, with Burundi, with Burma,” Haley said Wednesday. She said she hoped Venezuela’s regional neighbors could influence President Nicolas Maduro, saying he needs to “show respect” for his people. Otherwise, “we will certainly be hearing about this in the Security Council because it will be a real problem not just in the region but internationally.”

Opposition demonstrators angry at Maduro’s call for an assembly to write a new constitution that would consolidate his rule have held daily protests since early April. According to the opposition, more than 13,000 people have been injured and 1,500 protesters have been jailed.

Rafael Ramirez, the Venezuelan ambassador to the UN, said the country’s problems were a “domestic issue,” that don’t threaten the region.

“The U.S. is pushing to intervene in our country,” Ramirez said. “We are not a threat against peace on the international or regional level.”

From Caracas, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez described the Security Council debate as a failure by “the U.S. and Venezuelan fascist opposition,” adding in a Twitter posting that “Venezuela is not an item in the agenda of this body.”