Kerry supports recall referendum, but won’t back Almagro OAS initiative

US Secretary of State John Kerry met Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez on the sidelines of an Organization of American States (OAS) meeting. Although they pledged further dialogue, Kerry called for the Venezuelan government to “honor its own constitutional mechanisms" by allowing a "fair and timely recall referendum.” However, Kerry also clarified that he isn’t looking for Venezuela’s suspension from the OAS, by invoking the body’s Democratic Charter, as proposed by Secretary General Luis Almagro. Kerry commented, “We don’t think that would be constructive.”

Meanwhile, a group of former-Latin American Presidents back Almagro’s initiative and also demand the release of political prisoners and a recall referendum. They include Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe and Brazil’s Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Argentina President Mauricio Macri and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos both express concern about the political crisis in Venezuela and human rights violations in the country at the World Economic Forum on Latin America.