Venezuela will trigger the process of withdrawing from the Organization of American States (OAS) after the bloc voted to call an urgent meeting on it, Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said Wednesday, Sputnik reported.
"At the order of President Nicolas Maduro, we will present tomorrow a letter of denunciation to the OAS and begin a [departure] process that will take 24 months," Rodriguez said in a televised speech broadcast by a state TV channel.
The OAS Permanent Council voted earlier on Wednesday to call an emergency meeting of its foreign ministers over the crisis in Venezuela despite Caracas' objections. The decision was passed by 19 votes to 10, with four abstentions and one nation missing from the meeting of OAS’s one of the two main political bodies.
Earlier this month, the OAS voiced concern over Venezuela limiting the power of the opposition-controlled parliament, calling the move a breach of democratic norms, while OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro Lemes said he considered this to be a coup.
Venezuela has been rocked by opposition protests demanding fresh presidential elections with President Nicolas Maduro facing an opposition-controlled parliament that has sought his impeachment. The latest mass anti-government protests started in early April after Venezuela's Supreme Court decided to take on the legislative functions of the National Assembly. The court’s decision was later reversed, but protesters remained on the streets and demanded the judges' resignation. Over two dozen people have been killed in the unrest.