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    People stand in line to cast their votes at a polling station during an unofficial plebiscite against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro's government and his plan to rewrite the constitution, in Caracas, Venezuela July 16, 2017

    Venezuela to Skip 'Illegal' Mercosur Summit - Foreign Minister

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    Latin America
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    Venezuela’s foreign minister said Wednesday the country will skip the summit of the South American Mercosur trade bloc in Argentina over policy violations and hostility of its members toward Caracas.

    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) — He argued the decision by the bloc’s four full members – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay – to meet while they were sued by Caracas over dispute settlement process violated international norms.

    "Venezuela has decided to abstain from this unlawful meeting over blatant violations of Mercosur regulations," Samuel Moncada wrote in a statement.

    Moncada also claimed other members had been abusing Mercosur's mechanisms to "harass" Venezuela's government and its people.

    The bloc, which accounts for over three quarters of the continent’s total gross domestic product, is convening in Mendoza this Thursday and Friday. Julio Borges, the president of the opposition-controlled Venezuelan parliament will be attending and the political crisis in Venezuela is likely to dominate the talks.

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    summit, Caracas, Venezuela
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