The United States told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro was stepping up a crackdown on the opposition-controlled National Assembly and called on countries to respond with concrete actions.
The council met behind closed doors at the request of European countries to hear a briefing on the political and humanitarian crises in Venezuela and details of an EU-backed diplomatic push to end the stalemate.
"The United States calls on all member states to be prepared to take concrete actions in response to the Maduro regime's repression throughout Venezuela," it added.
Guaido blames Maduro for Venezuela's economic problems, which have forced millions of Venezuelans to flee the country in search of livelihoods abroad.
The contact group, made up of about a dozen European and Latin American countries, plans to send envoys to Caracas soon to discuss holding elections.
The group "has the capacity to push the parties to engage in a political process that would lead to free, credible and transparent elections", Gueguen told AFP.
The UN is stepping up plans to address the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, where 7 million people -- 25 per cent of the population -- are in need of food, medicine and other basic supplies.
Maduro has repeatedly maintained that there is no humanitarian crisis in his country and that US sanctions are to blame for the hardships of Venezuelans.
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