The head of the Organization of American States on Tuesday called on members of the Washington-based group to suspend Venezuela, citing the nation’s continued political crisis and failure to hold elections.
In a 75-page report, Luis Almagro said attempts at diplomacy in Venezuela “had not produced any progress,” and that President Nicolás Maduro should hold general elections “as soon as possible.”
The socialist administration shut down opposition efforts to hold a presidential recall, and has refused to call regional elections, which should have taken place last year. Venezuela’s next scheduled presidential election will be December 2018.
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“Multiple attempts at dialogue have failed and the citizens of Venezuela have lost even more faith in their government and the democratic process,” Almagro said. “The absence of dialogue is the first sign of a failed political system.”
In the past, OAS members, which include every country in the Americas but Cuba, have resisted calls to invoke the Democratic Charter and suspend Venezuela.
It’s unclear how Caracas will react, but in the past Maduro has accused the OAS of being a Washington mouthpiece. Last year, the Mercosur bloc of nations — led by Argentina, Chile and Brazil — downgraded Venezuela’s status within the group.