Brazil quits Venezuela observer team after leader barred

Anthony Boadle – Reuters, 10/20/2015

Brazil has dropped out of an international mission to observe Venezuela’s parliamentary election in December because President Nicolas Maduro’s government barred a former Brazilian Supreme Court chief justice from heading the team.

Brazil’s top electoral authority on Tuesday said Venezuela had refused its choice of Nelson Jobim, a former minister in two governments, to head the observer mission of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) despite wide support from the 12 member nations.

The announcement is a blow to Maduro, who has benefited from the diplomatic support of regional heavyweight Brazil at delicate moments including his contested 2013 election and a 2014 wave of opposition protests.

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