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Maduro: Venezuela's opposition committed 'treason' for urging OAS action

By Andrew V. Pestano
Maduro: Venezuela's opposition committed 'treason' for urging OAS action
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro came out on Wednesday with strong criticism against the Venezuelan opposition and against the Organization of American States after the organization's secretary general invoked a measure that will result in meetings over Venezuela's seemingly diminishing democracy. Photo courtesy of Nicolas Maduro

CARACAS, Venezuela, June 1 (UPI) -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday accused the opposition, which controls parliament, of committing "treason" for urging the Organization of American States to take action.

On Tuesday, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro invoked the Inter-American Democratic Charter over fears of Venezuela's diminishing democracy.

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On May 19, Venezuela's unicameral legislature, the National Assembly, delivered a solicitation to Almagro urging the secretary general to invoke the charter. Maduro fiercely criticized the OAS action, even referencing the political crisis in Brazil where President Dilma Rousseff is facing an impeachment trial.

"The opposition, by asking that the OAS activates the Democratic Charter, committed the felony of treason to the country," Maduro said during a speech in Caracas. "The international right wing carried out a coup d'etat in Brazil and the OAS stayed silent, but we here will put up a battle."

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The measure can be initiated by the OAS so member states can meet to discuss situations in which democracy has been seriously impaired in another member state. The international organization's Permanent Council will likely meet on June 10 and June 20 over Venezuela, consent from which was not required.

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Maduro's administration has repeatedly called any action by the OAS to be foreign intervention that interferes with Venezuela's affairs and threatens the country's constitution, with Maduro calling for "national rebellion in the face of international threats."

"Today, Mr. Almagro presented a document asking for intervention in Venezuela from abroad and a pipe dream called the Democratic Charter is being applied to us to open the doors to a 'gringo' intervention in Venezuela," Maduro also said Tuesday. "They can do as follows with the Democratic Charter, put it in a really thin little tube and let Mr. Almagro make better use of it, sticking his Democratic Charter wherever it fits. Venezuela will be respected and nobody's going to apply any charter of any kind -- or whatever they want to call it -- to Venezuela."

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