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Wednesday 29th
posted by James Tweedie in World

VENEZUELA demanded the Organisation of American States (OAS) cancel a special session set for yesterday aimed at censuring its socialist government.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez denounced OAS secretary-general Luis Almagro from the bloc’s headquarters in Washington on Monday, a day before the scheduled permanent council meeting.

The council was to consider Mr Almagro’s second attempt in less than a year to invoke the organisation’s democratic charter against Venezuela in support of right-wing opposition demands for early presidential elections.

It follows the failure of the Democratic Unity Roundtable (Mud) coalition’s attempts to organise a recall referendum against United Socialist Party President Nicolas Maduro.

A Venezuelan Foreign Ministry statement said that the meeting should be cancelled as it had been called without Caracas’s consent.

And it denounced the “ongoing harassment” of Venezuela by the US, using Mr Almagro as its agent.

Ms Rodriguez went further, saying: “Almagro is a liar, dishonest, evil-doer and mercenary.

“Almagro is not acting alone, he is a conduit for the orders that are dictated to him by Washington.”

Ms Rodriguez pointed out the failure of the OAS to condemn US military interventions and Washington-backed coups since its foundation in 1948.

“The OAS never condemned the coup attempt against Chavez,” she said.

“The OAS supported the invasion of Guatemala and the failed invasion of Cuba.”

The former leaders of Panama, the Dominican Republic and Spain have penned an open letter calling for a return to dialogue between the government and the Mud.

Martin Torrijos, Leonel Fernandez and Jose Luis Zapatero — along with regional bloc Unasur secretary-general Ernesto Samper and the Vatican — had mediated talks between government and opposition until the Mud walked out in January.

And the Communist Party of Venezuela led a march through the capital yesterday morning against the “violation of Venezuela’s sovereignty on the part of the lackey governments of the US.”