The Cable

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WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) –Caribbean countries appeared divided on the need to discuss the ongoing political situation in Venezuela even as the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS) approved a resolution to convene a meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the region to consider the situation in that country.Argentina, The Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, United States, Honduras, Jamaica, Guatemala, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St Lucia and Uruguay voted in favour of the resolution, while Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Dominica, Ecuador, Haiti, Nicaragua, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Venezuela voted against.

Belize, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago abstained during the vote and Grenada was absent from the meeting.

The OAS said the place and date of the meeting are yet to be determined.

Earlier this week, Venezuela said it would withdraw from the OAS in reaction to pressure from the bloc over the government's handling of the country's political crisis.

Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said the government would launch a two-year process to pull out of the Washington-based hemispheric body that it has been a member of for more than 65 years. She said Caracas, “as President Nicolas Maduro has instructed…will present a letter of complaint to the OAS and we will begin a process that will take 24 months,” she said in a televised address on Wednesday.

Rodriguez said Maduro's administration has been forced to counter what it sees as an attempt by the OAS and conservative regional governments to topple Maduro.

The decision came a short while after envoys to the OAS approved a resolution convening a special meeting of regional foreign ministers to discuss Venezuela's crisis.

OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro has previously branded Maduro, an elected socialist, a “dictator” for stifling the opposition that has been demanding that Maduro call early elections. The opposition parties have staged daily rallies for weeks and so far this month, at least 28 people have been killed in political unrest. Several of them have been shot in anti-government protests that have erupted into clashes with riot police.



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