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14 OAS Nations Sign Letter Demanding Venezuela Hold Elections, Release Political Prisoners

By: Karina Martín - Mar 24, 2017, 1:07 pm
OAS Nations Sign Letter Demanding Venezuela Hold Elections
Dialogue and negotiation “are the ideal way to reach lasting solutions to the problems” in Venezuela, a letter signed by the 14 countries said. (efecto cocuyo)

Español Fourteen countries in the Organization of American States called on the Venezuelan government to hold elections this year and to release political prisoners.

This Thursday, March 13, over a dozen of the countries in the international alliance released a letter increasing their pressure on Venezuela, which has been struggling with food and medicine shortages, censorship and potential economic collapse — the blame of which has been placed almost entirely on President Nicolás Maduro and his administration.

“We consider it urgent to give priority to the release of political prisoners, to recognize the legitimacy of the National Assembly’s decisions, in accordance with the constitution, and to establish an electoral calendar, which includes previously postponed elections,” a statement published by a series of foreign ministries read.

Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the United States and Uruguay all signed the document, which expressed their “deep concern” for the country’s political, economic and social crisis.

 

The 14 member nations confirmed they will evaluate OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro’s report “with the intention of agreeing on the pertinent course of action,” though they warned that the suspension of a member country would be a last resort.

Instead, the signing countries said that dialogue and negotiation are the ideal way to reach a sustainable solution.

Almagro issued a 75-page report last week in which he proposed to suspend Venezuela from the organization should no elections be held within 30 days.

Article 21 of the OAS Diplomatic Charter states that if the Assembly, the highest body of the OSA sees that there has been a breakdown of the democratic order in a member state and that diplomatic efforts have been unsuccessful, they may suspend that state from the organization.

Sources: El Nacional; RCN Radio.

Karina Martín Karina Martín

Karina Martín is a Venezuelan reporter with the PanAm Post based in Valencia. She holds a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages from the Arturo Michelena University.

Odebrecht Claims Brazilian Ex-President Rousseff Knew About Illegal Campaign Donations

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Mar 24, 2017, 11:02 am
odebrecht-rousseff-950x468

EspañolDilma Rousseff allegedly knew about irregular payments made to her election campaign by Odebrecht. Marcelo Odebrecht said this week that former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva raised the funds for the campaign for his ally Roussef, and that all parties were aware of it. "Dilma knew about the size of our donation and knew that we were the ones who donated the funds," the former president of Odebrecht said, "which made up a large part of the payments made through the B-box to Joao Santana (Rousseff's former publicist)." Odebrecht reportedly said former President Lula and former Minister Antonio Palocci of the Workers' Party raised funds for Rousseff's campaign in 2010. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); });   He also said Rousseff "knew" some of the payments were delivered directly to Joao Santana. According to his statements, Rousseff requested through a middleman — possibly former minister Guido Mantega — that contributions previously made for the Workers' Party be redirected to his campaign. Read More: Colombian Senator Demands President Santos Resign in Wake of Odebrecht Scandal Read More: Colombia President Santos Allegedly Accepted Odebrecht Bribes During 2014 Campaign Odebrecht reportedly said he donated up to US $48 million to the 2014 campaign and that at least a third of that money was in exchange for measures approved in 2009 that favored his group's business. Rousseff denied any relationship with the company despite Odebrecht's comments, stating that she does not and never had a relationship with Odebrecht, nor requested resources for her campaign. Source: Diario Las Américas

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