April 10 (UPI) -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence encouraged the United Nations Security Council Wednesday to revoke the credentials of Venezuela's envoy and support opposition leader Juan Guaido as the nation's president.
Maduro was sworn in for a new term in January after an election opponents say was marred by corruption. The country's National Assembly used constitutional provisions to rule Maduro's re-election illegitimate and proclaimed assembly leader Guaido interim president pending another vote. Maduro has remained in office with the help of the Venezuelan military while the U.S., South American and European governments recognize Guaido.
"The Maduro regime, in the midst of this deprivation and suffering, has used violence and intimidation against anyone who opposes their actions," Pence said. "In the last three months, the regime has thrown at least 1,255 people into jail, without any due process of law, and killed at least 40 protesters.
"That's the nature of the regime that we're dealing with. But the Maduro regime is not only a threat to the Venezuelan people; it is a threat to peace and security of the wider region as well. The rising desperation in Venezuela has fueled a mass exodus, the likes of which we have never seen in the Western Hemisphere."
Near the end of the speech, Pence told Venezuela ambassador Samuel Moncada Acosta he "shouldn't be here" and urged him to tell Maduro his "time is up."
"There can be no bystanders to this history," Pence said. "For the peace and security of our hemisphere, the world and the United Nations must stand with the people of Venezuela.
"To that end, the United States preparing a resolution recognizing the legitimacy of the government of interim President Juan Guaido. And today, we urge every member of the Security Council and all U.N. member states to support this resolution."
Russian U.N. representative Vassily Nebenzia pushed back and said much of what the vice president said came from Guaido. He also said Russia calls for a "neutral and impartial" delivery of humanitarian aid to the country and claimed crisis situations in Syria, Iraq and Libya are the results of Western intervention.
"If you want to make America great again, then stop interfering," Nebenzia said, mocking President Donald Trump's campaign theme.