South American nations reject U.S. measures against Venezuela officials

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South American nations on Saturday rejected the U.S. decision to label Venezuela a security threat and sanction seven officials, lending President Nicolas Maduro regional support in the diplomatic dispute with Washington. Foreign Ministers of the twelve-country Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) called for a revocation of the measures, which Maduro has blasted as an attempt to unseat him. The regional backing is further evidence the U.S. action against Venezuela has benefited Maduro, whose popularity has tumbled in hand with a severe economic recession. “Long live the South American nation!,” Maduro exclaimed in celebration on Saturday night, flanked by members of the military who had just led a defense exercise in the face of an alleged U.S. threat.