The international Organization of American States (OAS) has called on its 35-member nations to reject the parliamentary elections planned by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro next month on Dec. 6.
“It cannot be accepted by the international community. We must be clear about it, reject that idea and any political margin to try to validate that process,” Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS said during a press conference earlier this week, according to El Nacional.
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“It is definitely unacceptable from every point of view,” he added. “These elections are one more mechanism of impunity and cooptation of the Powers of the State.”
Almargro believes that Maduro is attempting to seize power over the opposition-controlled National Assembly – a sentiment shared by the leader of the government body Juan Guaido, who is recognized by the United State and the European Union as the acting president of Venezuela.
Guaido has already denounced the December election as “fraud,” and points to Venezuela’s Maduro loyalist-Supreme Court having appointed officials to the nation’s top electoral body, instead of recognizing parliament’s role in the process, France 24 reported.
The National Assembly is the only body currently under control by the opposition but was deemed ineffective by the Supreme Court in 2017 when the high court found it in contempt and effectively revoked the body’s powers.
But Maduro is still looking to gain control of the legislative body.
“Here we don’t elect Donald Trump, [Jair] Bolsonaro or [Ivan] Duque,” Maduro said earlier this month, commenting on who he associates as right-wing leaders in the U.S., Brazil and Colombia – all of which denounce the Maduro presidency and regime.
Almagro said that Venezuela’s dictatorship began under Hugo Chavez and “has accelerated with the inauguration of Nicolás Maduro.”
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“Dictators must leave the country and be tried for their crimes,” Almagro said Wednesday.
The U.S. Department of State could not be immediately reached for comment on how the U.S. intends to respond to the election.