US Vice-President Mike Pence asked the United Nations on Wednesday to recognise Juan Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela, telling the Security Council: "Nicolás Maduro must go."
Washington will present a draft resolution to the Security Council to that end, calling on the UN to confirm the opposition leader's representative as the ambassador to the world body, Pence told the council.
"The time has come for the United Nations to recognise interim president Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela and seat his representative in this body," Pence said.
The United States is among some 50 countries that recognise Guaidó, the opposition leader who declared himself interim president in January, and consider Maduro to have lost legitimacy.
After appealing for UN recognition for Guaidó, Pence turned to Venezuela's Ambassador Samuel Moncada, who was seated in the council chamber, and said: "With all due respect Mister Ambassador, you shouldn't be here."
He advised him to return to Caracas and convey the message to Maduro that "his time is up. It's time for him to go."
The United States called the council meeting after a UN report detailed the heavy toll of the crisis from the collapse of Venezuela's oil economy.