Washington: The Organization of American States said Tuesday it recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaido’s envoy as Venezuela’s delegate to the regional body until new elections are held in the country.
After a heated debate, the OAS permanent council made the decision by a vote of 18 in favour, nine against, and six abstentions. One delegate was absent.
The new delegate is Gustavo Tarre.
The move is yet another blow against President Nicolas Maduro, and was vehemently opposed by the delegate of the beleaguered leader, who is locked in a power struggle with Guaido.
Guaido, head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, is recognized by more than 50 countries, led by the US, as the oil-rich but economically crippled country’s legitimate interim president.
The OAS permanent council brings together the ambassadors of all 34 OAS member states. It is the organization’s top body.
The council asked OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro to send the text to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The text states that “Nicolas Maduro’s presidential authority lacks legitimacy and his designations for government posts, therefore, lack the necessary legitimacy.”
It recalled that back in June of last year it declared that elections in which Maduro won another term were illegitimate. On January 10 it withdrew its recognition of Maduro as president and said authority in Venezuela rested in the assembly led by Guaido.
The countries that voted against Tuesday’s decision were Venezuela, Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Dominica, Grenada, Mexico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Uruguay.