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Ecuador News

Moreno proposes popular referendum in Venezuela to decide on another presidential election

Ecuador wants Venezuela voters to decide for themselves if they want another presidential election. The proposal was made Tuesday to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS).

The majority of OAS members want a full condemnation of last month’s presidential election and a new election.

President Lenin Moreno

“Let the people of Venezuela decide if they want a new presidential election,” President Lenin Moreno said on his Twitter account. “If they want one, it should happen.”

Moreno said Venezuela’s May 20 election, in which President Nicolas Maduro was reelected by a minority of voters, sent up “many red flags” for its ban on opposition candidates and the absence of international observers to verify its accuracy. “The referendum should provide guarantees of transparency and participation to all Venezuelans and all political parties, without exclusions, with oversight provided by international organizations such as the OAS,” he said.

Moreno sited the popular referendum held in Ecuador in February as an example of a successful “exercise of democratic process.” Moreno won an overwhelming victory in that election, steering Ecuador in a new political direction from the previous government.

In another comment, Moreno criticized economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the U.S. and European countries. “These measures have produced no positive results and, in fact, have generated greater internal tension and have punished the poorest Venezuelans.”

The U.S. is pushing for expulsion of Venezuela from the OAS but does not have the 23 votes required. In a phone conversation Monday, Moreno told U.S. Vice President Michael Pence that Ecuador does not support expulsion.