MAJOR: Venezuela leaves OAS – calls it ‘US Colonial Ministry’

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CARACAS – Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro described the withdrawal of the country from the Organization of American States (OAS) as a liberation from the “US Department of the Colonies”.

On Saturday, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said that Venezuela is officially no longer part of the OAS.

“We are freed from the ministry of the US colonies, an interference tool, as well as disrespect for democratic principles and international law. Our independent Bolivarian homeland says ‘goodbye’ to the OAS,” Maduro wrote on his Twitter page.

Maduro announced the decision to leave the bloc in 2017, supporting the country’s immediate withdrawal from the OAS, although the procedure usually takes two years. The OAS did not recognize Maduro’s new presidential term, which began on January 10.

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On Friday, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Arreaza and Venezuelan Judge Carol Padilla. In his speech at the United Nations earlier this week, the main diplomat criticized the United States for its alleged efforts to dominate the United Nations and denounced the US appeal to other members of the organization to recognize the government of the Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó , who proclaimed himself acting president of the country.

The United States has attacked Venezuelan authorities and companies with multiple sanctions in recent months amid its campaign to force Maduro out of power.

Venezuela is currently facing a strong political crisis, with opposition leader Juan Guaidó proclaiming himself the interim president of the country. The measure was recognized by the United States and more than 50 other nations, while Maduro described it as a coup attempt orchestrated by the United States.

China, Russia, Bolivia, Turkey and numerous other nations recognize Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.

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