Venezuela to exit Organization of American States: FM

by Abel Hampton April 30, 2017, 2:05

Caracas chose to leave the organization after Wednesdays vote by a majority of the members to convene a meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the political crisis in Venezuela, despite the adamant opposition of the Venezuelan government.

Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez claims the OAS has tried "intervene and take custody of our country", adding that it "will never happen".

Supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro march in the capital on Wednesday.

"I am proud to say I took the decision... to free our country from interventionism", Maduro said in a speech on Thursday.

Venezuela said the move was a response to a Washington-backed campaign against the ruling Socialist Party that is meant to trample on the sovereignty of Venezuela, the US's principal ideological adversary in the region.

Breaking Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) unity on the issue of Venezuela, Saint Lucia voted with 18 other member states in favour of the resolution.

27 de abril de 2017, 15:56Havana, Apr 27 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban government has ratified its commitment Thursday to support the people and government of Venezuela and President Nicolas Maduro, now targets of a destabilization strategy by the Venezuelan rightwing.

In Brussels, the European Parliament said in a resolution it "strongly condemns the brutal repression exercised by the Venezuelan security forces, as well as irregular armed groups, against the peaceful protests".

He has called for local state elections, postponed from 2016, to be held soon, but has shown no sign of supporting an early presidential election. She said the pressure being brought by the USA on some members like Haiti to punish Venezuela had been considerable.

Venezuela's withdrawal process from the OAS will be completed in two years.

If Venezuela follows through with its decision to quit the 35-nation group, they would become the first country to drop out of the agency since its founding in 1948.

The decision drew quick rebuke from Venezuelan opposition leaders.

Authorities also have banned opposition leader Henrique Capriles from holding political office for 15 years, infuriating the protesters.

Wednesday was another day of marches as both pro-government and opposition groups took to the streets of Caracas.

On a bridge in east Caracas, they fired dozens of tear gas canisters, which masked youths picked up to hurl back at them or into a nearby trash-strewn river.

"The repression is very strong", Luis Florido, an opposition lawmaker, said as clouds of the white gas swirled around him.

Ramon Muchacho, a Caracas-area mayor, said at least 22 others were injured, some of them seriously. In the evening, government officials reported two national guardsmen were wounded by gunshots in the same part of Caracas where Pernalete Llover was killed earlier.

Maduro's opponents, as well as demanding a general election, are calling for the release of jailed activists, humanitarian aid to help offset shortages of food and medicine, and autonomy for the country's legislature.

Rights group Amnesty International urged the Caracas government Wednesday to stop the "persecution" and "arbitrary detention" of protesters.

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