Several regional governments on Tuesday urged the Organization of American States (OAS) to approve the creation of a group of countries to address the political and economic crises in Venezuela.
Twelve countries, including the U.S., Mexico and Canada, called for the OAS general assembly to negotiates a draft resolution to create a “contact group” to mediate the crisis in Venezuela, where at least 70 people have been killed in protests in recent weeks.
“The resolution proposes to create a balanced group of nations interested in contributing to a resolution of the Venezuelan crisis,” said the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan in a news conference Tuesday.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez replied to critics Tuesday, calling rivals “lapdogs of imperialism.
"The contact group that the U.S. is raising seems to me completely unnecessary. I think the only way they can impose their will is with their Marines, who would be met with a sharp response in Venezuela, if they dare, " Rodriguez said.
OAS members failed to reach an agreement at a meeting Monday on a resolution condemning the socialist administration of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
The document called for the release of political prisoners, the respect of human rights and an election timetable, among others measures.
Twenty states voted in favor of the draft — short of the 23 needed. Rodriguez left the meeting Monday before the vote.
Representatives from the 34-nation bloc will meet in Cancun until Wednesday.
By Nancy Caouette in Mexico City
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