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Venezuela free of 'US ministry of colonies': Maduro


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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday (local time) labeled the Latin American country's withdrawal from the Organisation of the American States (OAS) as a liberation from the "US ministry of colonies."
"We became free of the US ministry of colonies, a tool of interference as well as disrespect for democratic principles and international law. Our Bolivarian and independent Motherland says 'Goodbye' to the OAS," Sputnik quoted Maduro as saying.
This comes after the Venezuelan foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, announced Venezuela's exit from the OAS.
The Venezuelan President had first announced the country's withdrawal in 2017. However, the procedure usually takes two years. The OAS refused to recognise Maduro's new Presidential term, which started on January 10.
"From today (Saturday), the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela does not belong to the OAS, we have met all the deadlines and fulfilled the will of the Venezuelan people," Arreaza told government supporters here on Saturday (local time).
The United States imposed sanctions on Arreaza on Friday. Washington has targeted Venezuelan companies and officials in the last few months with sanctions, as a pressure tactic aimed towards Maduro's ouster.
The South American nation has been in the throes of a political crisis, which was accelerated when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself as the President of the nation in January. The United States immediately recognised him as the interim President, demanding Maduro to step down.
Maduro continues to hold on to his post despite several countries calling for his resignation. Venezuela is also facing an acute economic and humanitarian crisis at the moment, which is worsened by repeated sanctions from the United States.
Countries like China, Russia, Turkey amongst others have slammed international interference in Venezuelan affairs, throwing their weight behind Maduro.

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First Published: Apr 28 2019 | 2:07 PM IST

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