U.S. calls on OAS to suspend Venezuela from organisation

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza defended Venezuela

Secretary of State Pompeo Urges OAS to Suspend Venezuela from Organization

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza accused the USA of violating worldwide law.

In order to formally suspend Venezuela, the OAS would have to convene an extraordinary general assembly.

The Organization of American States (OAS) is meeting at its 48-first General assembly to decide wher to suspend Venezuela's membership of institution representing all countries of continent.

The Organization of American States on Tuesday paved the way to expel Venezuela, blasting the South American nation for turning its back on democracy and abusing human rights.

On Monday, Pompeo told the OAS General Assembly that "There is no greater challenge today than the full-scale dismantling of democracy and the heartbreaking humanitarian disaster in Venezuela".

The resolution calls on member states to implement politic and economic measures "to assist in the restoration of democratic order in Venezuela".

Even as Maduro has begun to free opponents jailed after violent anti-government protests a year ago, critics say about 300 are still being detained on what the opposition says are trumped-up charges meant to stifle dissent.

At the General Assembly previous year in Cancun, foreign ministers from throughout the Americas were unable to get enough votes for a relatively strongly worded proposal calling on the Venezuelan government to reconsider its call for an assembly to re-write the constitution and to respect the separation of powers.

A draft text, which should be voted on Tuesday, declared support for the people of Nicaragua and for all parties to engage "constructively in peaceful negotiations to strengthen democratic institutions and hold free, fair and timely elections". "You don't have moral authority of any kind to try to undermine our government", Arreaza said.

Pence spoke by phone Monday with President Lenin Moreno of Ecuador, and they discussed the need "to work together with like-minded nations to protect and promote freedom in the hemisphere", according to a White House statement.

Pompeo's remarks precede a speech by Vice President Mike Pence, who is also expected to call for member states to vote Venezuela out of the OAS. "It is an injustice to countries that have participated several times to reach a peaceful solution", he said, referring to failed efforts past year to mediate between the Venezuelan government and the opposition.

The Mexican foreign minister Luis Videgaray denied that the Lima Group of countries was seeking to destabilize Venezuela.

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