Venezuela threatens to withdraw from OAS

April 26 (UPI) — Venezuelan Foreign Minister Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez said she would withdraw Venezuela from the Organization of American States if the bloc holds a meeting on the South American country’s crisis without approval.

Rodríguez’s comment comes as Venezuela amid nearly a month of pro-government and anti-government protests that has led to at least 26 deaths.

The OAS Permanent Council on Wednesday is scheduled to debate a proposal by Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Bahamas and the United States to hold a special meeting of those country’s foreign ministers to discuss Venezuela’s political and economic crisis.

With President Nicolas Maduro‘s consent, Rodríguez said Venezuela would withdraw from the Washington, D.C.,-based OAS if the foreign ministers meet.

“After performing a meeting of foreign ministers of the OAS, which does not have our endorsement with the consent of the Venezuelan government, I have received instruction from the head of state, President Nicolas Maduro, to initiate the procedure of withdrawal from Venezuela of this organization,” Rodríguez told state-owned Venezolana de Televisión late Tuesday.

Rodríguez said such a meeting would be a direct action against the Venezuelan government and a violation of OAS rules.

“We will not continue to allow violations of legality, violations of institutionality and arbitrariness,” Rodríguez added.

Earlier in April, Rodríguez said the government rejects the “gross interference” of 11 “pathetic” Latin American countries that issued a joint statement calling on the Maduro regime to “to prevent any violence against protesters.”

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