The United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley described Venezuela as an “increasingly violent narco-state” at a Security Council meeting that Venezuela and other allies boycotted.
A report carried out by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in September also found an “increasingly critical human rights situation” in Venezuela, amid “mounting levels of repression of political dissent by national security forces, and increasing stigmatization and persecution of people perceived as opposing the Government of President Maduro.”
The meeting took place amid growing international pressure against the Maduro-led regime as the country rapidly descends into a dictatorship with a series of fraudulent elections and the creation of an illegal lawmaking body designed to usurp the power of elected officials.
The U.S. Council of Foreign Relations confirmed in May that drug traffickers, including the notorious Mexican Sinaloa and Zeta cartels, as well as potential jihadists, are being allowed to freely operate in Venezuela without fear of reprisal.
In recent months, the United States has increased pressure on the regime with an array of economic sanctions on Venezuela’s state-run oil company, as well as the freezing of assets and travel bans for dozens of leading government officials.