April 27 (UPI) — Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez said Venezuela will withdraw from the Organization of American States, suggesting it is a puppet of the U.S. government.
During a televised speech in Caracas, Rodríguez said she will “present, as ordered by the president of the republic, Nicolas Maduro, the letter of resignation to the OAS” on Thursday.
Rodríguez said Venezuela’s withdrawal “is not temporary,” but is an attempt to safeguard “the dignity of the people” in Venezuela.
Venezuela will need to pay the OAS an outstanding $8.7 million before it can withdraw. The OAS charter states a country can separate two years after it announces its desire and reasons to withdraw in a letter.
Rodríguez said Venezuela would no longer participate in meetings with the OAS, which she said is engaged in “interventionism” against Maduro’s government to disrupt and isolate Venezuela. She said the Venezuelan government is withdrawing because the OAS continued “intrusive, arbitrary, illegal, deviant and gross actions” against Venezuela.
“The OAS is an organization that has been instrumented by the American people to subdue the peoples of our region. It has a painful history and a shameful present,” Rodríguez said.
On Tuesday, Rodríguez threatened to withdraw Venezuela if the bloc held a meeting on the South American country’s crisis without approval. The OAS on Wednesday approved a resolution that will lead to a meeting of foreign ministers of member states on Venezuela’s “situation.”
Rodríguez’s comment comes as Venezuela is embroiled in nearly a month of pro-government and anti-government protests that led to at least 26 deaths.
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.”
The South American country is facing a political, security and economic crisis in which basic goods such as food and medicine are in short supply, unavailable or unaffordable. Venezuela has one of the highest homicide rates in the world.