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US calls for the Organization of American States to suspend Venezuela



WASHINGTON (AP) – Vice President Mike Pence on Monday asked Western Hemisphere countries to suspend Venezuela from the 35-State Organization of American States [196592] Pence urged Member States to discourage Venezuelan leaders from their finances (19659003) "In order to maintain democracy and freedom, we call on the members of the OAS to suspend Venezuela from the Organization of American States," said Pence, the first US Vice President to address the group since Al Gore 1

994.

Pence asked Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to suspend the presidential election on 20 May, which he called "no longer a fraud and a sham". Pence also urged Maduro to "open Venezuela for international aid, and do it now."

Venezuela refused to allow international aid, claiming that this would result in foreign intervention. The South American nation also denies that there is a continuing humanitarian crisis, although thousands of Venezuelans have fled to other countries in the region.

Venezuela sent no official to hear Pence's speech, but minutes later Samuel Moncada, Venezuela's deputy alien North American partner, Pence, described a "farce" and a "monstrosity."

Moncada said that in April 2017, his country launched a two-year trial to withdraw from the Washington-based Organization of American States.

"Let's go, we're counting the days we can go, but that's the most dangerous place in the world for Venezuela and I have to show up to defend Venezuela," he said.

Moncada also said that there is "no possibility" that the elections of May 20 will not take place.

"They are an expression of our sovereignty," he said.

Pence also said during the speech that the Trump administration had a former Venezuelan official in Telligence, two of his advisors and 20 companies under their control as drug dealers.

The US Treasury Department said Pedro Luis Martin Olivares had been accused in 2015 of deliberately conspiring by a Florida Grand Jury to distribute a controlled substance in the United States and the property with the intention of distributing a controlled substance on board a Florida United States registered aircraft to distribute.

In addition, OFAC imposed sanctions on Walter Alexander Del Nogal Marquez and Mario Antonio Rodriguez Espinoza for the support of Martin and on 20 companies in Venezuela and Panama owned or controlled by these three persons.

The action freezes all of their US assets or assets in the US

These sanctioned Monday are in addition to the dozens of current and former Venezuelan officials have already targeted the US.

These include Vice President Tareck El Aissami f or alleged involvement in international drug trafficking. The US has also imposed economic sanctions on Venezuela at a time when it was seeking to refinance huge international debt.

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Reach Luis Alonso Lugo at http://www.twitter.com/luisalonsolugo


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