The United Nations Council on Human Rights approved a resolution Friday asking the government of Venezuela to accept international humanitarian aid. Ecuador was among the nations supporting the measure which urged Venezuela to recognize the “the suffering of its people evidenced by shortages of food and medicine.”
Venezuela reacted angrily to the vote, claiming the measure was orchestrated by the U.S. and Israel to threaten the government of President Nicolas Maduro. “This is an action with the sole intent of overthrowing the government and establishing a mechanism of foreign control for Venezuela,” said Jorge Valero, Venezuela’s UN ambassador. “There is no humanitarian crisis in my country. This is a prelude to naked aggression by the forces of colonialism.”
Ecuador, which has previously opposed stronger condemnation of Maduro’s government, agreed that food and medicine shortages and a collapsing economy constitute a crisis. “We only have to look at the hundreds of thousands of people who have left Venezuela to know that there is a very serious problem there,” a spokesman for Ecuador’s UN office said.
Ecuador was joined by other Latin American countries, including Mexico, Colombia and Peru, in supporting the resolution. Among the countries opposing it were Burundi, China, Cuba, Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Pakistan and Venezuela. Iraq, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia abstained.
The United Nations estimates that between 2.2 million and 2.6 million Venezuelans have fled the country. More than a million are currently in Colombia while large numbers have settled in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Chile.