Venezuela to withdraw from OAS over 'interference in internal affairs'

| Updated: Apr 27, 2017 19:48 IST

Caracas [Venezuela], Apr 27 (ANI): Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez has said the country would withdraw from the Organisation of American States (OAS). Announcing the decision on VTV state television on Wednesday, Rodriguez said that country, which is facing a huge civil unrest, would take the unprecedented step of leaving the OAS over what it sees as attempts by foreign governments to interfere in its affairs by sidelining with the opposition in the latest wave of protests in the country. "In the OAS, we announced that if these intrusive, arbitrary, illicit, misdirected and rude actions were to persist against the sovereignty of our country, we would immediately proceed to denounce the letter of OAS and to initiate the definite withdrawal of Venezuela form this regional organisation," said Rodriguez. She added that the government would formally announce its withdrawal from the group and that she expects the process to take two years. Venezuela is experiencing civil unrest that stems from dissatisfaction with the government, which has been accused of economic mismanagement, resulting in huge shortages of daily essentials like food and medicine. Venezuela's attorney general on Wednesday said that at least 28 people were killed since the unrest erupted at the beginning of April. The comes as 19 of the 35 OAS member countries called for a special meeting in Washington Wednesday afternoon on the current situation in Venezuela, a further step on the road toward sanctions. Rodriguez had threatened a day earlier that if this meeting of foreign ministers took place, Venezuela would start the process to withdraw. The OAS has been debating Venezuela's compliance with the Inter-American Democratic Charter over the past few weeks. The OAS secretary general and key member states had voiced serious concern regarding the humanitarian crisis that Venezuela was facing, with basic food and medical supplies in drastically short supply. Since the beginning of April, massive protests have formed in the capital Caracas and other major cities calling for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's resignation and for the government to set a date for the delayed state elections. (ANI)