OAS head calls on members to suspend Venezuela

miami heraldThe 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.”

Read More: Venezuela government runs more than 500 companies

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.

“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.” …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

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