OAS Recognizes Opposition Representative as Venezuelan Ambassador

The Organization of American States on Tuesday recognized an opposition envoy as Venezuela’s representative to the regional group until new elections are held in the South American country, AP/Voice of America informs.

Gustavo Tarre was accepted by the OAS a day after another envoy designated by opposition leader Juan Guaido was recognized by President Donald Trump as Venezuela’s ambassador to the U.S.

The OAS adopted the resolution recognizing Tarre with 18 votes in favor, nine against, six abstentions and one absence. The U.S. and most of the 34 member states of the OAS recognize Guaido as interim president of Venezuela. They say President Nicolas Maduro wasn’t legitimately re-elected last year because leading opposition candidates weren’t permitted to run.

Venezuela’s foreign ministry condemned to the vote, saying the bloc was supporting a coup against Maduro, Deutsche Welle informs.

“With the illegitimate acceptance of a political puppet … the OAS is supporting the coup d’etat plan that began on January 23,” the ministry said, alluding to the date when Guaido proclaimed his interim presidency.

Venezuela has been a part of the OAS as a founding member in 1948. But in recent years, ties to the regional group became strained as members sharply criticized Maduro’s government and human rights abuses in the South American country.

In 2017, Venezuela announced it would be leaving the bloc, accusing the OAS of pushing for an intervention against Maduro. The withdrawal, the first time of any in the bloc’s history, would not take place until 2 years after the announcement or April 27, 2019.

On Tuesday, Maduro’s OAS representative Asbina Marin said the recognition proved that Maduro’s move to leave the bloc was “the right decision.”

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