On 6/20/2017 12:38 AM, jat wrote:
Part of the story as usual.
PS: must hurt to to see one of your favorite dictators being ridiculed
as you are.
Venezuela walks out of Americas summit in Mexico
Mark Stevenson, Associated Press
June 19, 2017 Updated: June 19, 2017 8:35pm
CANCUN, Mexico (AP) — Venezuela's foreign minister walked out of a
meeting of regional diplomats to discuss the South American country's
political crisis on Monday as a 17-year-old anti-government demonstrator
was shot and killed by security forces during another day of violent
The Organization of American States meeting being held in the Mexican
resort of Cancun once again narrowly failed to approve a resolution that
would have pushed back against some of Venezuelan President Nicolas
Maduro's most radical actions.
The United States, Mexico, Canada and several South American nations
issued a statement expressing their "disappointment" at the vote, which
for the second time in a month fell a few votes shy of the two-thirds
majority of the 34 member nations needed for approval.
"What can we say to the sick, who can't find medicines?" Mexican Foreign
Minister Luis Videgaray said of the setback, referring to the medicine
shortages that Venezuelans are experiencing.
As the meeting took place, thousands of protesters took to the streets
of the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, to protest against Maduro's
government. Protesters chanted "Who are we? Venezuela! What do we want?
Amid the clashes on Caracas' main highway, 17-year-old Fabian Urbina was
killed as the result of a bullet wound to the chest. Several others were
In a rare rebuke of security forces that Maduro has been relying on to
crush the protests, Interior Minister Nestor Reverol blamed excessive
force by national guardsmen for the shootings, saying that troops who
fired into the crowd would be held accountable.
The reproach came after cell phone videos circulated on social media
showing the national guardsmen firing into a crowd in brazen violation
of rules against using firearms to control protests.
Several diplomats made reference to the growing violence on the streets
in Caracas. But it wasn't enough to persuade enough countries,
especially from the Caribbean nations that have long relied on cheap oil
shipments from Venezuela, to take a tougher stance against Maduro.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez stormed out of the meeting,
and claimed that more OAS members who she didn't name were considering
following Venezuela's example and withdrawing from the Washington-based
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.
Some countries had expressed hope at Monday's meeting that they were
close to some kind of pronouncement aimed at ending the increasingly
bloody political strife in Venezuela, which has left at least 70 people
dead and more than 1,300 injured. But the special session on Venezuela
ended with no resolution approved.
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. The proposal got 20 votes in favor, five
against and eight abstentions. Venezuela was counted absent.
The resolution would also have called for an end to violence, and for
Maduro's government to respect the separation of powers. He has been
criticized for subjugating the judicial and electoral powers, even after
he lost control of the country's legislature.
A small knot of protesters also gathered in the rain on a highway
outside the Mexican resort complex where the talks were being held,
holding signs saying "No more deaths" and "no more hunger."
Monday's gathering in Cancun ahead of the OAS annual assembly is the
latest of a series of high-profile diplomatic meetings to discuss
Dampening expectations of a breakthrough, U.S. Secretary of State Rex
Tillerson decided to skip the gathering.
Venezuela has struggled with an imploding economy, rampaging inflation
and chronic shortages of food and basic consumer goods. Maduyro has
accused his opponents of sabotaging the country through an "economic war."
Earlier Monday in Caracas, government supporters and opponents exchanged
shoves and blows outside the offices of chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega
Diaz, who has opposed the planned constitutional overhaul in a break
with the Maduro administration.
Her husband German Ferrer, a lawmaker for the ruling socialist party,
said the family in recent days has received menacing phone calls and is
sometimes photographed by unknown onlookers when in public. Despite the
harassment, Ferrer said Ortega has no plans to resign or leave Venezuela.
"This doesn't intimidate her," Ferrer told The Associated Press. "On the
contrary, it simply gives her more strength to continue down the path of
legality that she has chosen."
AP Writer Fabiola Sanchez contributed to this report from Caracas, Venezuela