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Mercosur trade bloc to suspend Venezuela 'indefinitely': Report

The South American trade bloc Mercosur will meet Aug. 5 to suspend Venezuela indefinitely and disallow it from rejoining until it restores democracy, Reuters reported Aug. 3, citing a Brazilian government source.

Foreign ministers of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil will meet in Sao Paulo, the official said.

The bloc had planned to apply the democratic clause at year-end, but decided to move the date forward following Venezuela's controversial election of a constituent assembly July 30 and the arrest of several opposition leaders by President Nicolas Maduro's government.

In December 2016, Mercosur temporarily suspended Venezuela over its failure to implement the bloc's norms and over alleged human rights abuses committed by the government.