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Venezuela threatens to withdraw from OAS

Venezuela threatens to withdraw from OAS”

"We will not allow this government coalition to continue with an open political and ideological bias against Venezuela", said Foreign Minister Rodríguez.

A demonstrator uses a mask during rally against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela April 24, 2017.

After a month of protest across the country that has already led to 25 victims, the opposition to Venezuela's socialist president appears more determined than ever with continuing demands for early elections. Protesters in least a dozen other cities also staged sit-ins Monday, with some building barricades to stop traffic.

Trying to keep the pressure on Maduro, the opposition Democratic Unity coalition is planning a march on Wednesday towards downtown Caracas.

The government's disqualification from public office of two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, who would be an opposition favorite to replace Maduro, gave further impetus to the demonstrations.

"Right-wing terrorists have once again left Venezuelan families grieving in their continuous spiral of violence", Nestor Reverol, Venezuela's interior minister, said in a nationwide broadcast announcing the latest deaths.

Global pressure on Venezuela to schedule delayed elections and free political activists now in detention has been steadily mounting.

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On Sunday, a 21st death was linked to the unrest that began nearly a month ago over the Supreme Court's decision to gut the opposition-controlled congress of its powers.

He has called for local state elections, postponed from 2016, to be held soon, but has shown no sign of supporting an early presidential election.

OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro says Venezuela has "deteriorated into a full-scale dictatorship" and the OAS should consider suspending Venezuela.

No country has ever withdrawn from the OAS since it was created in 1948 and it's unclear how complicated the process would be.

Last night Delcy Rodriguez, the Venezuelan foreign minister, told state television that she had been instructed by President Maduro to initiate Venezuela's withdrawal if the talks go ahead. It excludes Canada and the U.S.

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