- Title: Venezuelan FM says Mercosur suspension vote "illegitimate"
- Date: 5th August 2017
- Summary: SAO PAULO, BRAZIL (AUGUST 05, 2017) (REUTERS) JOURNALISTS / GENERAL VIEW OF MEETING OF FOREIGN MINISTERS FROM THE MERCOSUR TRADE BLOC VARIOUS OF MERCOSUR MEETING IN PROGRESS
- Embargoed: 19th August 2017 21:37
- Keywords: Venezuela Mercosur suspension vote democracy Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA AND SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
- City: CARACAS, VENEZUELA AND SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016SVQREV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza called a Mercosur vote to suspend the OPEC nation from the South American trade bloc "illegitimate", amidst growing international pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to dismantle a newly created pro-government constituent assembly and restore democracy.
Foreign ministers of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil announced the decision in Sao Paulo, urging Maduro to release prisoners and immediately start a political transition. But Mercosur has no provision for expulsion. It had suspended Venezuela temporarily in December for not complying with the bloc's regulations, and toughened its stance following the controversial election of the constituent assembly on Sunday (July 30) and the arrest of several opposition leaders.
Countries around the world have condemned the vote for a pro-government constituent assembly, calling it a bid to extend Maduro's rule indefinitely. Argentina's Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie labelled Venezuela a dictatorship.
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