Summit host withdraws Venezuela's invitation over early presidential election

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The minister recalled the Declaration of Quebec City states that any unconstitutional adjustment of the democratic order in a state of the Hemisphere constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to the participation of that state's government in the Summit of the Americas process.

The move follows a recent announcement by Venezuela's pro-government election officials to hold a presidential election on April 22 without reaching an accord with opposition leaders over how to conduct a free and fair vote. The Group questions Venezuela's decision to call elections, a demand made by opposition parties in Venezuela for more than a year.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday that nothing will keep him from attending the Summit of the Americas - even though Peru revoked his invitation to the April gathering, where the oil country's crisis is expected to be one of the main topics of discussion.

The statement stopped short of saying the group would not recognise the results of the election, though several members, including Venezuela's neighbour Colombia, have already done so.

Maduro has tasked Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, with overseeing the implementation of the registration process in the country's consulates and embassies around the world, stating that this measure will strengthen Venezuela's democracy. Desperate residents are increasingly fleeing Venezuela into neighbouring Brazil and Colombia, unsettling the region.

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Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos talks during a news conference after a meeting with Colombian former President and Senator Alvaro Uribe at Narino Palace in Bogota, Colombia, October 5, 2016. We are fully prepared to receive them.

Last week, Santos tightened border controls and heightened security in frontier towns.

"They're the most unpopular governments on the planet", he said, naming Argentina, Colombia and Peru.

Venezuela is in the throes of a protracted, severe recession that has cast many people into abject poverty.

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