National Assembly Demands Suspension of Venezuela from OAS

Venezuelan legislators have officially petitioned for their own country to be suspended from the Organisation of American States, amid ongoing political deadlock.

By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
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Venezuela could face suspension from the OAS if the regional bloc's head Luis Almagro agrees to call a vote on whether to invoke the democratic charter. (Venezuelan foreign ministry)
Venezuela could face suspension from the OAS if the regional bloc's head Luis Almagro agrees to call a vote on whether to invoke the democratic charter. (Venezuelan foreign ministry)

Puebla, Mexico, May 20, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan legislators have officially requested for their own country to be suspended from the Organisation of American States, amid ongoing political deadlock.

The opposition dominated National Assembly (AN) issued a report Thursday to OAS President Luis Almagro alleging a breakdown of democratic order in Venezuela, and calling for the country to be slapped with the regional bloc's democratic charter.

AN foreign affairs committee chair Luis Florido said, “We don't want Venezuela to isolate itself”.

“But we want to generate the necessary pressure so that we Venezuelans, with the mediation of the Inter-American System, can find a political solution to the crisis,” he said after meeting with Almagro, according to EFE.

If Almagro agrees to back the AN's call, representatives of the OAS's 34 member states would need to vote on whether to suspend Venezuela. A total of 18 votes would be needed to pass the measure.

While Almagro hasn't commented on whether he plans to seek Venezuela's suspension, he has long been a critic of President Nicolas Maduro.

On Thursday night, the OAS head unleashed a Twitter tirade against Maduro. In one of 12 tweets directed at the Venezuelan leader, Almagro said, “I'm not a traitor either to my ideas or my principles BUT YOU ARE A TRAITOR to your people”.

The tweet appeared to refer to comments made by Maduro earlier this week. During a speech Tuesday, Maduro accused Almagro of being a US agent.

“I know his secrets. The US, the CIA, have played a master move using Almagro as their agent,” Maduro said.

Initially, Almagro responded with an eight page open letter criticising Maduro, before taking the battle to Twitter.

Maduro himself didn't respond to the tweets, though his foreign minister Delcy Rodriguez hit back at Almagro by labeling him “part of the imperialist detritus”.

Meanwhile, the leftist regional bloc ALBA has condemned Almagro's comments, accusing the OAS head of “offending all sovereign states”.

“The countries of the ALBA-TCP reiterate our solidarity with the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, with its president and his people and reject the media, economic, diplomatic and financial aggression seeking the overthrow of this legitimate government,” the bloc said in a statement.

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