Venezuela crisis tops agenda for Americas summit in Mexico

The OAS crisis talks are the latest in a series of foreign ministers' meetings that caused Maduro to announce Venezuela's withdrawal from the regional group in April - a process that will take two years. Protesters chanted "Who are we?"

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez angrily withdrew from the OAS ministers' meeting as the two sides sought to forge a third proposal that she said was sure to fail.

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

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 ended with no resolution.

Euronews reporter Alberto d'Filippis who is in the Venezuelan capital said he witnessed national guard officers attacking journalists. he also added that protesters accuse the government of trying to silence the media and thus prevent the world from seeing what is happening in today's Venezuela. "I think the only way they (the U.S.) can impose their will is with their Marines, who would be met with a swift response in Venezuela, should they dare" to land. A group of 14 Caribbean countries - many of which have received oil subsidies from Venezuela - want an even milder version, asking simply for dialogue and help in mediation.

Amid the clashes on Caracas's main highway, 17-year-old Fabian Urbina was killed by a bullet wound to the chest, local authorities said without providing more details.

A small knot of protesters also gathered in the rain on a highway outside the Mexican resort complex where the OAS talks are being held, holding signs saying "No more deaths" and "no more hunger".

Venezuela opposition lawmakers (L-R) Franco Casella, Carlos Lozano, William Davila and Luis Florido hold a news conference on the actual Venezuelan crisis ahead of the OAS 47th General Assembly in Cancun, Mexico, June 19, 2017.

Michael Fitzpatrick, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, said "we thought we had such an agreement earlier in the day".

Venezuela has struggled with an imploding economy, rampaging inflation and chronic shortages of food and basic consumer goods. The president has accused his political opponents of sabotaging the country through economic warfare and encouraging the protests.

In an important anti-imperialist march and also against OAS interference in the Venezuelan's political life, Cabello denounced that the servility attitude by the regional organization was "a well-known issue, ' because it represents the oppressive arm of the United States in Latin America".

"This doesn't intimidate her", Ferrer told The Associated Press from outside her office during the tumult.

  • Leroy Wright