Venezuelan Ambassador to the UN Samuel Moncada told reporters the United States is arming Venezuelan deserters to form a so-called liberation army to invade the country.

“From the Colombian territory… they are arming so-called the Venezuelan liberation army to penetrate into Venezuelan territory with supposedly deserters,” Moncada said on Thursday.

The envoy added that the United States is inflating figures that there are thousands of Venezuelan deserters because they are fabricating their own army similar to the US-backed Contra armies fighting against the Sandinista government in the Nicaragua Revolution in the 1980s.

These efforts are part of US plans for a clandestine operation against Venezuela, Moncada continued.

Moreover, the UN envoy said Venezuela views Trump’s stance of “all options on the table” as a threat of using military force to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro’s government.

Earlier in the day the UN Security Council held a voting on competing draft resolutions on Venezuela introduced by the United States and Russia. Both resolutions were not adopted. 

Tensions have been escalating in Venezuela since 23 January, when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president. Maduro qualified Guaido’s move as an attempt to stage a coup orchestrated by Washington.

The United States immediately recognized Guaido, and around 50 other countries followed suit. Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia and a number of other countries have meanwhile voiced their support for the legitimate government of Maduro.

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