Venezuela walks out of Americas summit as teenage protester shot dead

Venezuela's foreign minister has walked out of a meeting of regional diplomats to discuss the South American country's political crisis, as a 17-year-old anti-government protester was killed during clashes with security forces.

The Organisation of American States meeting in the Mexican resort of Cancun again narrowly failed to approve a resolution that would have pushed back against some of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's most radical actions.

The US, Mexico, Canada and several South American nations issued a statement expressing their "disappointment" at the vote, which fell three votes short 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 Venezuelans are experiencing.

Countries pushing for elections in Venezuela came closer than ever, and Mr Videgaray left open the possibility the Venezuela issue may be brought up today's broader meeting of the OAS general assembly, where a simple majority is needed.

Venezuelan foreign minister Delcy Rodriguez stalked out of the meeting, and claimed that more OAS members were considering following Venezuela's example and withdrawing from the regional 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 recognise this meeting, we do not recognise any resolution coming out of it," Ms Rodriguez said.

She would not say which countries are considering leaving the Washington-based OAS, although Venezuela has received support from other left-leaning governments like Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador.

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.

As the meeting took place, thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, to protest against Nicolas Maduro's government. Protesters chanted: "Who are we? Venezuela! What do we want? Freedom!"

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. Several others were also reportedly shot.

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".

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

Related Articles

Gardai investigating Carlow attack anxious to speak to couple seen in area

Closing down Al-Jazeera among list of demands by Arab countries to end Qatar crisis

Ireland’s trust in news higher than international average

Irish households spending less on food and more on rent and mortgages

More in this Section

Boaty McBoatface has returned from its first journey and of course it was a success

Teenage Grenfell victim to be immortalised in Philip Pullman book

11-year-old boy dies from electric burns at rail depot in Northamptonshire

Elderly Greek man charged for setting up a firing range on his balcony


Lifestyle

Hand of Fate: Have faith in the hand you are dealt

Sean O’Hagan returns to 'cosmopolitan' Cork

Nude dating show Naked Attraction will see singletons revealing a lot about themselves

'Everybody cheats on everybody': Technology and its impact on human behaviour

More From The Irish Examiner