Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa announced that the foreign ministers from the member states of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)* will meet on March 12 to discuss the “gross, illegal, shameless, outrageous, and unjustified act of interference by the United States” in Venezuelan affairs.
“This Thursday the foreign ministers of UNASUR will meet in Montevideo in order to organize a summit of the heads of state [of UNASUR] next week where we will give the corresponding answer to that gross, illegal, shameless, outrageous, and unjustified act of interference by the United States in the internal affairs of Venezuela,” said Correa during a press conference.
The head of UNASUR, Ernesto Samper, has already made clear that the bloc stands behind the democratically-elected government of President Nicolás Maduro.
“There is no possibility that UNASUR will validate any attempt to disrupt the democratic process in any country in the region,” said Samper.
Several Latin American heads of state have also condemned the declaration by the U.S. President. The 12-member states of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) group also joined the growing list of countries to speak out against U.S. threats against Venezuela.
“How is Venezuela a threat to the United States? Thousands of kilometers away, without strategic weapons and without the resources to conspire against the U.S. constitutional order; the [White House] declaration has little credibility,” read the statement of the Cuban government published in the newspaper Granma on March 10.
Former Cuban President Fidel Castro praised President Maduro’s “brilliant and valiant” response to what he described as “brutal” U.S. plans against Venezuela. The comments were made in a short letter to Maduro on the night of March 9 when Obama issued his declaration.
Earlier in the day, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales said the regional blocs UNASUR and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and should immediately hold an “emergency meeting,” arguing the U.S. sanctions pose a threat to “all of Latin America and the Caribbean.”
“In the 21st Century we condemn, repudiate and will not accept this kind of intervention by the United States,” Morales said. “All of our solidarity and our support goes to President Maduro, and the revolutionary Bolivarian government and people of Venezuela.”
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correo said on his Facebook account on March 10, “An executive order by Obama declaring Venezuela a national security threat and declaring a national emergency to face this threat… It must be a bad joke, which reminds us of the darkest hours of our America, when we received invasions and dictatorships imposed by imperialism… Will they understand that Latin America has changed?”
Social media users have coined the hashtag #ObamaYankeeGoHome, posting over 80,000 tweets with the tag within the first 24 hours following Obama’s announcements.
The Union of South American Nations, USAN; (Spanish: Unión de Naciones Suramericanas, UNASUR; Portuguese: União de Nações Sul-Americanas, UNASUL; Dutch: Unie van Zuid-Amerikaanse Naties, UZAN) is an intergovernmental union integrating two existing customs unions – Mercosur and the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) – as part of a continuing process of South American integration. Wikipediia