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Venezuela and Bolivia blast Moreno for withdrawing Ecuador from UNASUR

UNASUR headquarters near Quito

The governments of Venezuela and Bolivia are blasting Ecuador for its decision last week to leave the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).

“I consider this an act of treason,” said Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza. “We cannot have traitors in our ranks or we will lose our motherland,” he wrote on Twitter, quoting Latin American revolutionary Simon Bolivar.

In announcing Ecuador’s withdrawal from UNASUR, Moreno said the organization, which has its headquarters north of Quito, had lost its legitimacy and most of its members. “The members have abandoned the mission and no longer make a contribution to it.”

Created in 2011, UNASUR was designed as is a regional organization to counter-balance the U.S.-dominated Organization of American States (OAS). Former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and former Ecuador president Rafael Correa were primary supporters of the project.

Last year, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Paraguay said they were suspending their membership in UNASUR due to disagreements about the candidacy of the secretary general and the bloc’s stance on Venezuela. After Ecuador’s decision, only Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela remain as members.

In a letter addressed to the Secretariat of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) Pro Tempore Monday the Ecuadorian government formalized the decision to suspend its participation and withdraw from the Constitutional Treaty of Unasur thereby leaving the bloc.

“Ecuador will stop participating in all activities and commitments of the organization and initiate internal procedures for the retraction of the treaty,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador, Jose Valencia, to his Bolivian counterpart, Diego Pary, whose country is in charge of the Pro Tempore Secretariat.

Former President Rafael Correa, expressed via Twitter that Ecuador’s decision is “a death sentence for the organization.” This possible dissolution occurs at a time of ascension for conservative governments in the region, with Chilean President Sebastian Piñera proposing a new regional bloc called Prosur.