United Nations (CNN)The bitter differences between the world's most powerful nations were on full display in New York on Thursday, as the United Nations Security Council weighed two equally hopeless resolutions on Venezuela.
Inside the UN Security Council's double veto on Venezuela
In a diplomatic game of chicken, the UK, France and the United States squared off against Russia and China. The United States had waited weeks to put forward its draft resolution, which described embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro's presidency as the result of elections that were "neither free nor fair." The resolution also called for new presidential elections, and delivery access for foreign humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile, the Russians were waiting in the wings with a rival draft resolution, which condemned outside interference in Venezuela's affairs, citing unnamed "threats to use force" against Venezuela.
Since January, Maduro has been battling for control of the country against Juan Guaido, the head of Venezuela's opposition-led legislature and self-declared president. Maduro is firmly backed by Russia, while Guaido has been recognized as the true head of state by the United States and many regional powers and European nations.
It was a familiar dance. Everyone in the UN knew the two competing resolutions would go down in flames, but the diplomats trooped into the historic chamber anyway.