Venezuela’s foreign minister walked out of a meeting of regional diplomats to discuss the South American country’s ongoing political crisis as a 17-year-old anti-government demonstrator was shot and killed during clashes with security forces. The Organization of American States meeting being held in the Mexican resort of Cancun once again narrowly failed to approve a resolution that would have pushed back against some of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s most radical actions.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez stalked out of the meeting, and claimed that more OAS members were considering following Venezuela’s example and withdrawing from the group, which has been putting pressure on her socialist government to hold timely elections, free political prisoners and scrap a bid to rewrite its constitution.
“Not only do we not recognise this meeting, we do not recognise any resolution coming out of it,” Rodriguez said. Rodriguez wouldn’t say which countries are considering leaving the Washington-based OAS though Venezuela has received support from other left-leaning governments like Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador.
Some countries had expressed hope at Sunday’s meeting that they were close to some kind of pronouncement aimed at ending the increasingly bloody political strife in Venezuela, which has left at least 70 people dead and more than 1,300 injured, the special session on Venezuela ended with no resolution approved.
What failed to gain enough votes was a relatively strongly-worded proposal calling on Maduro to “reconsider” a call for an assembly to re-write the constitution, when masses of Venezuelans have taken to the streets to call for elections to replace his crisis-wracked government.
The proposal got 20 votes in favour, five against and eight abstentions. Venezuela was counted absent. But according to special rules for the session, a handful more ‘yes’ votes were required.
The resolution would also have called for an end to violence, and for Maduro’s government to respect the separation of powers. He has been criticised for subjugating the judicial and electoral powers, even while he lost control of the country’s legislature.