Pompeo says 'now is the time' for countries to pick a side on Venezuela

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the United Nations during a Security Council meeting about the situation in Venezuela in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 26, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the United Nations Security Council that it was time now for countries to pick a side on Venezuela after Washington recognized the opposition leader Juan Guaido as the South American nation’s head of state.

“Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side. No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem,” Pompeo told a meeting on Venezuela, referring to Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro, who Washington is urging to step down.

Russia has opposed the U.S. efforts and has accused Washington of backing a coup attempt, placing Venezuela at the heart of a growing geopolitical duel.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; editing by Diane Craft