Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Organization of American States starts Venezuela suspension procedure after US call

Organization of American States
The members of the Organization of American States have voted overwhelmingly to start the process that could lead to Venezuela’s suspension from the pan-American 34-state body, accusing Caracas of clamping down on democracy.

At a session on Tuesday, 19 delegates representing OAS member-states voted in support of the resolution that might lead to the suspension of Venezuela’s membership in the organization. Only four countries voted against the motion, while 11 abstained.

The resolution was passed by the OAS general assembly “in defense of representative democracy,” Reuters reported. It calls for the summoning of an extraordinary assembly eligible to decide whether a country should be suspended.

It comes a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the delegates to kickstart the suspension procedure, saying that it “would send a powerful signal to the [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro regime.”

Advocating for new, tougher sanctions to be imposed on Caracas by the 34-member body, Pompeo reiterated the US' claims that the recent presidential elections in Venezuela, won by Nicolas Maduro in a landslide, were a “sham,” neither free nor fair.

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