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Venezuela is a 'dictatorship' says new 17 member bloc

In a joint declaration released on Tuesday, a new 17 member bloc of countries including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and Canada condemned the situation in Venezuela, concluding it was a "dictatorship". 

The group described the new constituent assembly as "illegitimate" and said they would not acknowledge any of its actions. 

"What we have in Venezuela is a dictatorship," Peru's foreign affairs minister Ricardo Luna was quoted by Reuters as saying at a press conference following a meeting in Lima. 

The group also condemned the "systematic violation of human rights and fundamental liberties, violence, repression and political persecution, the existence of political prisoners and the lack of free elections."

Chile's foreign minister, Heraldo Munoz urged a peaceful transition back towards democratic order. 

"What we want is to re-establish the broken democratic order," Mr Munoz said. 

"Chile does not accept military coups, auto-coups or military uprisings."

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Last week Venezuela was suspended from the South American trade bloc, Mercosur, indefinitely. See more here