UNITED NATIONS -- Six nations made the unprecedented move Wednesday of asking the UN's International Criminal Court to investigate Venezuela for possible crimes against humanity, even as President Nicolas Maduro made an unexpected trip to the world body's headquarters to deliver a nearly hourlong speech declaring his nation "will never give in."
Maduro's speech at the General Assembly gathering of world leaders came hours after Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay and Canada formally asked the ICC to investigate Venezuela on a range of possible charges, from murder to torture and crimes against humanity.
"To remain indifferent or speculative in front of this reality could be perceived as being complicit with the regime. We are not going to be complicit," said Paraguayan Foreign Minister Andres Rodriguez Pedotti.
The six countries hope the move puts new pressure on Maduro to end the violence and conflict that have sent more than 2 million people fleeing and made Venezuela's inflation and homicide rates among the highest in the world.
Wednesday marked the first time that member countries have referred another country to the Netherlands-based UN court.
Canada was among nations referring Venezuela to the ICC, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seized the moment to defend the idea of global justice the court represents -- the day after Trump attacked it in a stinging speech that challenged multilateral organizations.