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U.S. wants Venezuela punished by 35-nation group

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Venezuela’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for North America Samuel Moncada responds after Vice President Mike Pence called for Venezuela to be suspended from the Organization of American States (OAS), at the OAS in Washington today.

WASHINGTON >> The United States has asked the countries of the Western Hemisphere to suspend Venezuela from the 35-nation Organization of American States.

Vice President Mike Pence also urged member states to cut off Venezuelan leaders — including Vice President Tareck El Aissami, Pedro Luis Martin Olivares and dozens of current and former officials already targeted — from their financial systems and to enact visa restrictions.

Pence asked Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to suspend the May 20 presidential election, which he called “no more than fraud and sham.” Pence also urged Maduro to “open Venezuela to international aid, and do it now.”

Venezuela’s deputy foreign relations minister for North America called Pence’s remarks a “farce” and a “monstrosity.”

The official, Samuel Moncada, also said there is “no possibility” that the May 20 election does not take place. He also says the country is “counting the days” until it can leave the Organization of American States.

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