American States want democracy in Venezuela to be restored

American States want democracy in Venezuela to be restoredFourteen countries from North and South America have urged Venezuela's Socialist Unity Party (PSUV) to restore democracy in Venezuela, The Deutsche Welle reported on Wednesday.

In a joint statement, they have asked the government in Caracas to release their political prisoners and recognise the legitimacy of parliamentary decisions.

Along with representatives from the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, diplomats from leftist-governed countries like Chile and Uruguay signed the statement issued at a special meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington. Eighteen of the 35 OAS member states had requested the meeting to analyse the situation in Venezuela. The warning that the states issued, however, did not meet Secretary General Luis Almagro's request to suspend Venezuela. His tough line against Caracas is also controversial among political analysts.

In the middle of March, Almagro published a painfully blunt report detailing the social, economic, political and humanitarian situation in the Caribbean state. The country, which boasts the largest petroleum reserves in the world, has been slipping deeper and deeper into a supply crisis that is now putting millions of lives at risk. Opposition politicians and critical journalists are being threatened; some have been imprisoned or even murdered.

Since the end of 2015, the opposition has held a majority in Venezuela's congress. However, it is virtually unable to act because the government refuses to implement its resolutions or the PSUV-dominated constitutional court blocks them. The Uruguayan Almagro accuses President Nicolas Maduro and his government of violating all 28 articles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

In response, Maduro demanded Almagro's dismissal and insulted him in his usual manner - calling him a "clown" and saying, "Almagro's stupidity in the OAS does not upset me for a second."

The OAS has initially refrained from imposing sanctions. But General Secretary Almagro is likely to further pursue the issue. It is not the first time Almagro has suggested suspending Venezuela. However, it is questionable who would benefit.
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