BY DANIEL WISER
Latin American observers are calling on regional democracies to address the ongoing unrest in Venezuela and take steps to defend democratic norms and human rights.
The Organization of American States (OAS) Permanent Council, composed of representatives from all 35 countries in the Americas, scheduled a closed meeting on Thursday in Washington, D.C., at the request of Panama to discuss the Venezuelan crisis. At least 18 people have died in protests against President Nicolas Maduro and the country’s rampant crime, inflation, and shortages.
Maduro attributed the announcement of the OAS meeting to “moves by the United States government in accord with a lackey government of a right-wing president” and reacted angrily by breaking off diplomatic and economic ties to Panama. The meeting was already postponed a week after pressure from the Venezuelan government.
Maduro warned the OAS and Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza not to “intervene in Venezuelan home affairs.”