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Citing silence on Venezuela, Colombia withdraws from UNASUR

BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia will leave a South American bloc promoted by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to counter U.S. influence in the region.

President Ivan Duque said in a televised address Monday that UNASUR is now “the greatest accomplice of the Venezuelan dictatorship.”

Colombia and five other nations had suspended their memberships amid differences over who should lead the group earlier this year.

The alliance has steadily been fracturing, with Ecuador President Lenin Moreno even demanding the union give up its central office in Quito.

Duque said UNASUR has failed to denounce Venezuela’s “brutal treatment” of its citizens and that Colombia’s withdrawal will be effective within six months.