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Organization of American States Fails to Agree on Venezuela Crisis Printer friendly page Print This
By Staff Writers, Sputnik
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Demonstrators run away from tear gas during clashes with police while rallying against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, April 20, 2017. Organization of American States Fails to Agree on Venezuela Crisis © REUTERS/ Christian Veron

The Organization of American States (OAS) halted indefinitely Venezuela crisis talks on Wednesday after failing to agree a way forward, the Guatemalan foreign minister said.

Envoys from 34 American nations, including 18 foreign ministers, gathered in Washington to choose between two declarations on the political situation in Venezuela, which requires at least 23 votes.

The draft tabled by the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru and Panama would urge Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to call early elections and free political prisoners, while a mildly-worded Caribbean initiative would call for dialogue between rival political forces, according to El National.

Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales, who chaired the meeting, said no consensus had been reach on how to address the turmoil in Venezuela, which has taken more than 60 lives since early April. The Bahamas’ lead negotiator said participating nations had agreed to continue talking.

President Maduro declared in late April that he was pulling the nation out of the OAS, a regional bloc, after its governing body voted in favor of calling an urgent meeting of foreign ministers to discuss deadly protests in Venezuela. On April 29, Venezuela handed a letter on its withdrawal to the secretary general of the organization. The process of withdrawal takes two years, but Maduro said it would be sped up.

Venezuelan opposition accuses the government of mismanaging the oil-rich country, causing severe shortages of basic consumer goods.

President Maduro plans to set up a constituent assembly
- as envisaged in the present Constitution - to rewrite the constitution as a way out of the political crisis that broke out after the Supreme Court briefly took over legislative powers from the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

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