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OAS Recognizes Opposition Envoy as Venezuelan Ambassador

FILE - Organization of American States (OAS) Permanent Representative Ambassador of Venezuela, Gustavo Tarre, speaks during a news conference at OAS headquarters in Washington, Feb. 11, 2019.

The Organization of American States on Tuesday recognized a Venezuelan opposition envoy as his nation's representative to the regional group until new elections are held in the South American country.

Gustavo Tarre was accepted by the OAS a day after another envoy designated by opposition leader Juan Guaido was recognized by President Donald Trump as Venezuela's ambassador to the U.S.

The OAS adopted the resolution recognizing Tarre with 18 votes in favor, nine against, six abstentions and one absence.

The U.S. and most of the 34 member states of the OAS recognize Guaido as interim president of Venezuela. They say President Nicolas Maduro wasn't legitimately re-elected last year because leading opposition candidates weren't permitted to run.

Maduro's government called the decision a "criminal and rampant violation of international law and the OAS Charter."

The Foreign Ministry said in a press release that Venezuela will consider "null" any decision taken by Tarre, whom it described as a "loud-mouth political usurper."

Tarre told reporters he plans to take over the job after he delivers his credential letter to OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro on Wednesday morning.

"It means the usurpation of the Venezuelan seat (at the organization) has ended," he said.

The OAS is the second multilateral organization to recognize representatives designated by Guaido.

The Inter-American Development Bank accepted Ricardo Hausmann as the Venezuelan envoy last month. It later called off its general assembly after host China refused to grant him a visa. China is one of the main allies of Maduro, along with Russia.