Venezuela calls countries "lap dogs" at OAS Mexico meeting

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Former Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding has criticised the positions advanced by two regional political leaders on the issue of taking a position on democracy in Venezuela, a report in the Jamaica Gleaner yesterday stated.

Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Morales, the acting chair of the meeting, said ministers would resume discussions at a later, unspecified date.

The United States and Venezuela exchanged harsh words at the Organization of American States general assembly Tuesday, after the US representative said the OAS must pass some kind of resolution on the troubled South American country to remain true to its principles.

What failed to gain enough votes was a relatively strongly-worded proposal calling on Maduro to "reconsider" a call for an assembly to re-write the constitution. Meanwhile a 17-year-old anti-government demonstrator was shot and killed by security forces during another day of violent clashes in Venezuela.

Another idea, proposed by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and more sympathetic to the Venezuelan government, was also rejected, receiving just eight votes in favor.

On the one side are Caribbean countries sympathetic to Maduro's government, and which for years received generous exports of discounted crude from oil giant Venezuela.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez addresses the media at the OAS 47th General Assembly in Cancun.

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Alluding to Venezuela's withdrawal process from the OAS, Rodriguez said that Venezuela would never again seek membership in an organization subverted by the hegemonic power of the United States. Protesters chanted "Who are we?"

"Venezuela needs an global humanitarian channel that provides drugs and food to the Venezuelan population", OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro said.

It called for the release of political prisoners, respect for rights, an election timetable, a "humanitarian channel" to ship food and medicine, and the creation of a group or mechanism to help "effective dialogue among Venezuelans".

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez eventually walked out of the talks.

"We hope that we will be able to overcome some of those differences and approve action.to express some concerns about the situation in Venezuela, which is deteriorating", Kevin Sullivan, U.S. interim representative to the Washington-based OAS said on a conference call.

Venezuela's socialists have long enjoyed the support of left-leaning governments in Latin America loathe to back measures they see as meddling in a sovereign country by an organisation they consider an arm of U.S. foreign policy.

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