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article imageBrazil warns 'no alternatives' to democracy in Venezuela

By AFP     Sep 19, 2017 in World

Brazil's leader on Tuesday warned that there were "no alternatives to democracy" in Venezuela as he voiced solidarity with the people of the crisis-consumed nation.

President Michel Temer, addressing the UN General Assembly where Brazil is the customary first nation in the annual marathon of leaders' speeches, noted that his country has taken in thousands of Venezuelans.

"The human rights situation in Venezuela has regrettably deteriorated continuously," Temer said.

"We stand by and support the Venezuelan people with whom we are linked by brotherly connections," he said.

"There is no longer room for alternatives to democracy and that is precisely what we have asserted in Mercosur and that is what we will keep advocating," Temer said, referring to the South American trading bloc.

The right-leaning Temer has himself faced questions of legitimacy, with the president and one third of his cabinet under investigation in myriad corruption probes.

Temer took over last year after his left-wing predecessor, Brazil's first woman president, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached and removed from office.

Venezuela has been going through months of deadly protests, with critics accusing leftist President Nicolas Maduro of a naked power grab in July with the formation of a Constituent Assembly packed with his allies, wresting power from the opposition-dominated legislature.

The unrest comes as Venezuela suffers an intense economic crisis as falling oil prices whittle down the country's main source of revenue.

Temer also announced that Brazil would sign a new UN treaty on banning nuclear weapons, taking it on the long path to coming in force.

The treaty was reached in July with support from Latin America and Africa despite a boycott from nuclear weapons states and members of the NATO alliance.

Temer said he would sign the treaty during a ceremony Wednesday at the United Nations.

"It will be a historic moment," Temer said. "We reiterate our call for the nuclear powers to take on additional disarmament commitments."

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