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(SNO) — Saint Lucia has voted at the Organization of American States (OAS) not to recognize the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro’s new term as president of Venezuela.
The vote was taken last week at a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS).
Maduro was sworn in last Thursday for a second term as Venezuela’s president, despite international criticism that his re-election is illegitimate.
The May 2018 polls, which Maduro said he won, were marred by an opposition boycott and vote-rigging claims.
The European Union (EU) has said it will not recognise Maduro’s presidency.
St. Lucia’s representative at the OAS, Anton Edmunds, said the decision was a difficult one but his country “must at times do the uncomfortable, speak up and act on what we see”.
“While Venezuela has long been a friend of St. Lucia, we are at a loss for words at what we are witness to: a political, economic and humanitarian crisis that threatens us all,” he stated.
He added that the matter was a regional one, and not national or domestic as regarded by some.
The OAS resolution not to recognize Maduro’s second term was presented by Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, the United States, Paraguay and Peru.
It was approved by 19 votes in favour, six against and eight absentions.
The matter has divided the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on its position on the Maduro Administration.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines led a group consisting of Suriname and Dominica, which voted against the resolution.
Jamaica, St. Lucia, The Bahamas, Haiti and Guyana voted for it.
St. Kitts, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Belize and Grenada abstained.