News ID: 216256
Published: 1159 GMT June 06, 2018

OAS agrees to vote on suspending member state Venezuela

OAS agrees to vote on suspending member state Venezuela

The Organization of American States (OAS) has agreed to hold an extraordinary session to vote on suspending Venezuela from the 34-member group, under ramped-up pressure from the United States.

The OAS passed a resolution on Tuesday to hold the extraordinary meeting, with 19 member states voting in favor of the session, four against, and 11 abstaining.

The US-based organization has been mostly critical of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday called on the regional body to expel Venezuela and “show that the OAS backs its words with actions.”

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza rejected the Tuesday vote.

“Those that have supported this [resolution] are supporting the possibility of a military intervention in Venezuela. Let that be on your conscious,” he said.

Caracas had already started a two-year process to pull out of the organization. It announced the decision last year, accusing the organization of taking “intrusive, arbitrary, illicit, misdirected and rude” actions against Caracas.

Following the Tuesday vote, US representative to the OAS Carlos Trujillo called the Maduro government “illegitimate.”

Maduro was elected to a second term as president in an election last month. The US refused to recognize the result of the election, which was confirmed by international observers from over 40 countries but had a turnout of 46 percent, down from 80 percent in the 2013 presidential vote.

Venezuela has been facing political and economic upheavals. Street clashes prompted by political differences led to the death of at least 120 people in the country last year. Shortages of foodstuffs and medicine also routinely sent thousands of Venezuelans walking across the border into Colombia to buy basic commodities.

Caracas blames the country’s economic difficulties on the many rounds of sanctions imposed by the US. The administration of President Donald Trump announced a new round of sanctions after Maduro was re-elected last month.

The OAS was founded in Colombia in 1948 to promote economic, military, and cultural cooperation among its members, which also include Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Bolivia, among other states.

Resource: presstv
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