The Organization of American States (OAS) approved by simple majority on Tuesday the suspension of Venezuela from the body composed of 34 members.
The measure will not be automatic because it has not reached a two-thirds majority (24 votes), so it will undergo a new vote in the Extraordinary General Assembly.
At the 48th Ordinary General Assembly, held in Washington DC, 19 countries approved the suspension , while four voted against and 11 abstained.
The resolution also ignored the legitimacy of the Venezuelan elections of May 20, in which President Nicolas Maduro obtained re-election.
The proposal was put forward by the United States and supported by countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, in addition to 11 other states.The suspension of a member of the OAS is the highest sanction of the organism and in the past it occurred twice.
One was in 2009 to Honduras , after the coup d’etat that ousted President Manuel Zelaya. The other occurred in 1959 with Cuba after the triumph of the Revolution of Fidel Castro.
Venezuela has already requested its departure from the agency since 2017, but as a matter of procedure, it will be effective 24 months later, in 2019.
Reactions in Venezuela
Several politicians of the government of Venezuela celebrated that the measure promoted by the United States has not reached two thirds of the votes, the necessary ones for its immediate application.
“New defeat for (the vice president of the USA) Mike Pence and imperialism! They have not been able or will be able to do with the people of Bolivar!” Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami wrote on Twitter .The Minister of Communication, Jorge Rodriguez , seconded: “Victory of Venezuela: they have two years with the same 19 votes, and with all the pressures Pence managed to violate the American dignity.”
Venezuela had the support of its old allies, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica. Other Caribbean countries, such as the Dominican Republic, which normally vote in favor of Venezuela, abstained.
For his part, opposition leader Julio Borges celebrated the determination of the OAS.
“Resounding rejection of the electoral farce on May 20 by the democracies of the region in the OAS, Nicolas Maduro is increasingly isolated, can not avoid the change and freedom of our country. We are not alone!” he said on Twitter.
Deputy Luis Florido , of the opposition Popular Will party, celebrated: “With 19 votes, the strongest resolution of the OAS was approved in favor of the Venezuelan people.” Nicolas Maduro is not president for countries of the Inter-American System and the electoral farce of 20 May of Venezuela. “