Venezuelan opposition envoy Gustavo Tarre addresses OAS

(ALJAZEERA) –  Venezuelan opposition envoy has addressed the Organization of the American States (OAS) from the South American country’s seat, the first time it has happened in two decades.

Gustavo Tarre delivered a speech during a session held by the OAS’s Permanent Council on Tuesday, three months after opposition leader Juan Guaidodeclared himself an interim leader on the basis that President Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegitimate. Maduro accuses the opposition which is backed by the United States of staging a coup.

Ambassadors from at least four Caribbean countries left the room before Tarre spoke, showing their opposition to his recognition as Venezuela’s representative to the OAS.

The OAS voted to recognise Tarre as Venezuela’s official delegate earlier this month, with 18 votes in favour, nine against, six abstentions and one absence. The US and most of the OAS’s 34 member states recognise Guaido as Venezuela’s interim leader.

At the time, Maduro called the OAS decision a “criminal and rampant violation of international law of the OAS charter”.

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Meanwhile, the Venezuelan government on Monday announced two marches to counter the ones Guaido has called for on May 1.

Last week, Guaido called for his supporters to take to the streets on International Workers’ Day for “the largest march in history”.

The duelling protests will be the latest in a series of protests to rock the country this year.

Millions of Venezuelans have left the country in recent years, fleeing hyperinflation, unemployment, violence and food and medicine shortages.