Venezuela walks out of Americas summit in Mexico

From the Washington PostVenezuela’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 Monday during clashes with security forces.

As she left the Organization of American States meeting being held in the Mexican resort of Cancun, Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez 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 recognize this meeting, we do not recognize 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. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform American policymakers and American and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.