Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro Tells OAS Head to 'Stick It'
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a rally with pro-government members of the public transport sector in Caracas, Venezuela May 31, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

The Washington-based body has released a 132-page report that initiates a process that could end in Venezuela's suspension from the OAS.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reacted strongly Tuesday to the decision by Organization of American States Secretary-General Luis Almagro to invoke the body’s democratic charter to “review” the political situation in the South American country, setting the stage for outside intervention.

“No one will impose any charter in Venezuela," Maduro said at a rally in Caracas. "Mr. Almagro, stick your democratic charter where it fits you…. You must respect Venezuela!”

The Washington-based body on Tuesday presented a 132-page report on political situation in Venezuela, signed by Almagro, that initiates a process that could end in the suspension of Venezuela from the OAS.

Among other things, OAS is urging that a recall referendum on President Maduro's future be held this year. The body is also demanding the release of what they say are "political prisoners" and a "restoration of a balance of powers in the National Assembly and Supreme Court."

In a statement issued Tuesday, the foreign minister of Venezuela “categorically" rejected the "fraudulent" OAS move.

“Luis Almagro has been biased, with no ethical scruple, he’s with those who are leading a coup, violent and anti-democratic groups of the opposition, with support from international interfering sectors that promote the overthrow of the legitimate and constitutional government of President Nicolas Maduro Moros,” the statement says.

A former Uruguayan foreign minister, Almagro has been harshly critical of the government of President Maduro. Earlier this month he stepped out of diplomatic protocol and penned a hostile letter to the socialist leader accusing him of spreading lies and sliding toward becoming a “petty dictator.”

Almagro is the first head of the OAS to activate the charter against a member state against the will of its government, a step he takes based on Article 20, which authorizes the secretary-general or any member state to call for an immediate permanent council meeting.

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