World

Pence asks OAS to suspend Venezuela from group

Pence asks OAS to suspend Venezuela from group

The US Treasury Department announced new sanctions Monday on three Venezuelans as the US ratchets up pressure on the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has overseen a crackdown on protesters amid an economic crisis fuelled by rapid inflation.

Pence also dismissed the country's upcoming presidential elections, which Maduro is widely expected to "win", having banned most opposition candidates from running and relying on his regime's sophisticated use of voter fraud systems.

Close to 1 million people left Venezuela between 2015 and 2017, according to United Nations figures, to escape the rising incidence of malnutrition and preventable diseases as a result of the collapse of the country's socialist economic system.

In response, Moncada said that "there is no possibility of the elections being suspended", a timetable has been successfully fulfilled according to statements made by the directors of the National Electoral Council (CNE). "We have to continue to isolate Maduro until he gives in".

"Suspend this sham election", he told Maduro.

The Trump administration also has been weighing new oil-related sanctions on a Venezuelan oil services company and on insurance coverage for tankers carrying Venezuelan oil.

"The time has come to open Venezuela to global aid, and do it now", Pence said.

So far, the White House has imposed a range of sanctions on the Maduro regime that include a ban on Americans from dealing with Venezuela's state-run oil company Petroleum of Venezuela (PDSVA) or buying the country's oil-backed cryptocurrency, as well as personal sanctions targeting high ranking government officials including Maduro himself.

In Pence's analysis, the crisis unfolding in Venezuela has worldwide repercussions, especially for countries in the Americas.

Haley's comments Tuesday followed Pence's own call the previous day for Venezuela's elections to be suspended.

He also reiterated that U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed himself in demeaning terms about some OAS member states and threatened to revoke the Temporary Protected Status Program (TPS).