Pence urges OAS to suspend Venezuela from organization

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence addresses the Organization of American States at OAS headquarters in Washington, U.S. May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence called on Monday for the Organization of American States to suspend Venezuela’s membership in the 35-nation group, and he announced new U.S. sanctions targeting drug kingpins said to be linked to the government.

Pence, in a speech to the OAS, urged socialist Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to suspend elections scheduled for May 20, saying they would be a “fraud” and a “sham.” He also urged Venezuela’s neighbors in the hemisphere to step up their own measures against Caracas, imposing visa restrictions for leaders and taking other action to hold Maduro accountable.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Mohammad Zargham