Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has on Saturday termed Caracas’s withdrawal from the OAS (Organization of the American States) as deliverance from the United States “ministry of colonies”.
Maduro was quoted by Sputnik news agency as saying, “We became free of the US ministry of colonies, a tool of interference as well as disrespect for domestic principles and international law. Our Bolivian and independent Motherland says ‘Goodbye’ to the OAS.”
According to ANI news reports, this development has come shortly after Jorge Arreaza, Venezuelan foreign minister, announced the country’s withdrawal from the OAS.
In 2017, the Venezuelan president had first announced the pullout, but usually, the procedure takes two years. The OAS declined to recognize Maduro’s presidential term which began on January 10.
On Saturday, Arreaza told his government supporter in Caracas, “From today (Saturday), the Bolivian Republic of Venezuela does not belong to the OAS, we have met all the deadlines and fulfilled the will of the Venezuelan people.”
Washington has on Friday imposed sanction on Arreaza and ceased his assets, as well as, targeted the country’s firms and officials since past few months with US sanctions, as efforts to ratchet up pressure on Maduro to step down.
Despite several countries calling for Maduro’s resignation, the embattled Venezuelan president still holds the power with his opposition head Juan Guaido calling for a largest mass protest in the country.
The US froze assets of Venezuelan Judge Carol Padilla and foreign minister Jorge Arreaza, known for backing Maduro and playing a crucial role in Maduro’s government.
The US department of state released an official statement, saying it had imposing sanctions over “two official aligned with the former Maduro regime pursuant to Executive Order 13962, which allows for the designation of any person determined to be a current or former official of the Government of Venezuela”.