BY DANIEL WISE
U.S. lawmakers continued to criticize Latin American democracies on Friday for not taking more action to end government repression in Venezuela and for holding a meeting behind closed doors.
The Organization of American States (OAS) Permanent Council, composed of representatives from all 35 countries in the Americas, convened in a closed meeting on Thursday afternoon in Washington, D.C., to discuss the Venezuelan crisis. The meeting, which was scheduled to continue on Friday, was requested by Panama as businesses in the country reportedly expressed concerns about $2 billion in debt owed to them by the Venezuelan government.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reacted angrily to Panama’s request by breaking off diplomatic and economic ties to the country, expelling the Panamanian ambassador and three other diplomats, and attributing the OAS meeting to “moves by the United States government in accord with a lackey government of a right-wing president.”