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O.A.S. Seeks Peaceful Solution to Tense Venezuelan Impasse

The Organization of American States met Wednesday with electoral officials and opposition leaders in a last-ditch effort to find a peaceful solution to Venezuela’s political turmoil, while opponents of President Hugo Chávez called for a major protest march on Thursday. The situation here has remained tense since the National Electoral Council announced on Tuesday the disqualification of hundreds of thousands of signatures needed to allow a recall referendum on Mr. Chávez. The president’s foes charged that the leftist government pressured electoral authorities to disqualify the signatures in order to derail a referendum, since a successful recall would end Mr. Chávez’s tumultuous five-year rule. The opposition leaders contended they had collected more than enough signatures to permit a recall on Mr. Chávez, whom they have fought to oust over the last two years through legal maneuvers, a failed coup, strikes and protests. Full Story

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