Regional group rebukes Venezuelan government

"There is no denying that there has been an alteration of the constitutional order,'' said OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro

By: AP | Caracas | Updated: April 4, 2017 10:23 am
Opposition lawmaker Juan Requesens, center, is taken away by his colleague Jose Manuel Olivares, right, after begin injured by supposed government supporters, as they protested outside of the Ombudsman’s offices in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, April 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

The Organization of American States on Monday took its strongest measure yet rebuking Venezuela’s slide toward authoritarianism. Member countries of the regional body said that last week’s Supreme Court ruling nullifying the opposition-controlled Congress was “incompatible with democratic practice.”

That Venezuelan court ruling was overturned after three days following strong international and domestic criticism.

The Organization of American States pledged in a statement to continue making diplomatic efforts to address the situation in the economically embattled South American country.

“There is no denying that there has been an alteration of the constitutional order,” said OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro.

The resolution was adopted after a chaotic session that saw Venezuela’s ambassador, Samuel Moncada, leave in protest.

President Nicolas Maduro sharply criticized the Washington-based OAS, saying it “intends to become an inquisition that persecutes Venezuela.”

Earlier in the day, men wielding sticks and rocks attacked a group of Venezuelan opposition lawmakers as they staged a demonstration to demand the removal of the Supreme Court judges who issued the ruling against congress.

The lawmakers were attacked in Caracas by what appeared to be a pro-government group after they released chickens to symbolize cowardice outside the country’s ombudsman’s office.

Lawmaker Juan Requesens received a sharp blow to the face. Photos showed Requesens bleeding from a wound above his eye.

Last week’s Supreme Court ruling threw the South American country into a political crisis. The decision was reversed on Saturday but opposition leaders say the judges have to be removed to restore constitutional order in the country.

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