May 17 (UPI) -- The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday held a closed-door session over the crisis in Venezuela at the request of the United States, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said.
Haley said the U.N. Security Council meeting began at 12:30 p.m. The meeting comes amid nearly daily protests in Venezuela for nearly two months.
Though there have been some demonstrations in support of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's regime, most are anti-government demonstrations decrying the country's economic collapse under Maduro's government and what the opposition says is the deterioration of democracy.
The recent protests began on March 30 after Venezuela's Supreme Tribunal of Justice, or TSJ, said it would assume the National Assembly's duties -- a ruling it later reversed. The Venezuelan opposition said the TSJ's move was akin to a coup d'etat in favor of Maduro's regime.
More than 40 people have died nationwide during the protests.
"In Venezuela, we are on the verge of humanitarian crisis. Peaceful protesters have been injured, arrested and even killed by their own government," Haley said in a statement. "Medicine is unavailable, hospitals lack supplies and it's become difficult to find food. For the sake of the Venezuelan people, and the security of the region, we must work together to ensure Maduro ends this violence and oppression, and restores democracy to the people."
Julio Borges, the leader of Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly legislature, on Wednesday said the issues facing Venezuela are of international importance.
"Venezuela is the most important theme of the Organization of American States, Mercosur and Union of South American Nations. From the United Nations, European Union and the Vatican," Borges said in a statement.