Venezuela's government has strongly rejected the resolution adopted by the countries from the so-called triple alliance that make up the Common Market of the South, Mercosur, after they voted to suspend Caracas from the trade bloc for an indefinite period.
"Venezuela warns the peoples of the world about the gross interference of those who twist legal ways to provoke erratic interventions, in violation of the most basic principles of international law," said a statement read by the Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza.
Arreaza also attributed the measure to "nefarious anti-integrationist interests (which) have made Mercosur an organ of political persecution against Venezuela."
He stressed that the application of the Protocol of Ushuaia, or “democratic clause”, is unjustified. "Nothing and nobody can suspend us from Mercosur, Venezuela is Mercosur."
Canciller @jaarreaza: ¡Nada ni nadie podrá suspender a Venezuela del corazón del Mercosur, Venezuela es Mercosur! pic.twitter.com/jMAPyVr0FE— CancilleríaVenezuela (@vencancilleria) August 5, 2017
"Nothing and nobody can suspend Venezuela from the heart of Mercosur, Venezuela is Mercosur!"
Arreaza reiterated this was the second time in less than a year that leaders have tried to suspend Venezuela from Mercosur.
He said the organization is biased because the Protocol of Ushuaia should apply to Brazil, a nation with an unelected president in Michel Temer, who came to power after he led an impeachment process to push out his legitimate predecessor, Dilma Rousseff.
Foreign Ministers from the Common Market of the South, Mercosur, earlier decided to apply the clause suspending Venezuela from the regional bloc.
The announcement was made during a meeting in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, to discuss political turmoil between the Venezuelan government and the right-wing opposition.
At the talks, Brazil's Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes said political suspension does not imply expulsion or the application of economic sanctions, because they are not included in the Protocol of Ushuaia.
The group said the administration of President Nicolas Maduro was suspended for “breaking the democratic order” after it went ahead with the National Constituent Assembly election.
Maduro later criticized the decision during an interview with Argentina's Radio Rebelde.
"Venezuela will not be taken out of Mercosur, ever. We are Mercosur from our soul, heart and life," Maduro said.
He also denounced Mercosur's double standards and obsession with criticizing Venezuela.
"Some coup-promoting oligarchies like Brazil or miserable ones like the one that governs Argentina could try it a thousand times, but we will always be there," Maduro said.
Brazil's Workers' Party Senators issued a communique denouncing the move, "There was no rupture of the democratic order in Venezuela. The convocation of the Constituent Assembly by the president of the republic is clearly and explicitly stated in article 348 of the Constitution of Venezuela. In addition, such a call represents a commitment to the solution of the internal conflict of that country by the most democratic means known: popular vote, something that the no vote, coup government in Brazil is incapable of valuing."
"Finally," the statement concluded, "the (PT Senators) send a fraternal and solidarity embrace to the people of Venezuela, hoping that all political forces will do their best in the essential search for dialogue, peace and harmony."
The Communist Party of Uruguay has expressed its concern over Venezuela's suspension.
It has issued a statement expressing solidarity with the Venezuelan people and their right to determine their "inalienable right to peace, democracy and freedom".
And it also said its members are "conscious of the historical moment we live in the world and the region, which is a crisis of capitalism and against the offensive of imperialism, with fraternity and firmness, we say that we do not share at all the position assumed by our government."