South American trade bloc Mercosur suspends Venezuela for not following democratic norms | world-news | Hindustan Times
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South American trade bloc Mercosur suspends Venezuela for not following democratic norms

The suspension can only be lifted when the bloc is satisfied that Venezuela has restored democratic order.

world Updated: Aug 05, 2017 21:16 IST
Agencies
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro addresses a military parade to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Venezuela's National Guard in capital Caracas on August 4, 2017.
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro addresses a military parade to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Venezuela's National Guard in capital Caracas on August 4, 2017. (Reuters)

The South American trade bloc Mercosur has decided to suspend Venezuela for failing to follow democratic norms.

Venezuela was previously suspended in December for failing to uphold commitments it made when it joined the group in 2012.

Saturday’s decision will make it harder for the country to return to good standing since the new suspension can only be lifted when the bloc is satisfied that Venezuela has restored democratic order.

The meeting of Mercosur foreign ministers in Sao Paulo on Saturday came as Venezuela’s newly formed constitutional assembly pledged to move quickly against President Nicolas Maduro’s opponents.

The assembly will have sweeping powers and the opposition fears it will be used to strengthen Maduro’s power and further crack down on dissent.

Venezuela assembly fires attorney general

Venezuela’s contested new assembly fired the country’s dissident attorney general Luisa Ortega on Saturday in a move sure to provoke greater international criticism.

The body, which made the sacking its first order of business, also said it planned to operate as Venezuela’s supreme power for up to two years.