UPDATED 12:53 PM PT — Mon. June 4, 2018
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently called on the Organization of American States to suspend socialist-ruled Venezuela.
Pompeo made the call to action while speaking before the organization’s assembly in Washington, D.C. Monday, and suggested it go beyond just temporarily banning the nation.
He urged fellow member states to enact additional sanctions and further isolate the Maduro regime until it moves to return to “genuine democracy.”
Pompeo stressed that suspending the nation would send a powerful message to the authoritarian regime.
“Suspend Venezuela from this body,” he urged. “That suspension, that suspension is not a goal unto itself, but it would show that OAS backs up its words with action and it would send a powerful signal to the Maduro regime: only real elections will allow your government to be included in the family of nations.”
Pompeo further condemned the Maduro regime by calling the recent election a “sham,” which offered no real choice to the Venezuelan people.
Meanwhile, Venezuela is rebuking u.s. calls for its suspension.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza accused the U.S. of meddling with his country’s internal affairs and imposing illegal sanctions against the Maduro regime.
He also denounced what he called an ongoing U.S. aggression against Venezuela.
The foreign minister also highlighted President Maduro’s legitimacy as he was recently elected by 68-percent of the popular vote.
“We are an independent nation, a free, sovereign nation and no empire will step foot in Venezuelan territory and impede the Venezuelan people from fulfilling their will, fulfilling their democracy and fulfilling their destiny of freedom,” stated Arreaza.
This comes amid an intensified crackdown against political dissent and a deepening economic crisis in this once-prosperous Latin American country.