“Venezuela is not alone. They have the support of all the Latin American and Caribbean countries,” Ecuador's Foreign Minister added. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has said the member-states of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) bloc will meet to discuss U.S. interference in Venezuelan affairs which he described as “gross, illegal, shameless, outrageous, and unjustified act of interference.”
The UNASUR meeting comes on the heels of the announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama declaring Venezuela an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to the United States.
The head of UNASUR, Ernesto Samper, has already made clear that the bloc stands behind the democratically-elected government of Nicolas Maduro.
"There is no possibility that UNASUR will validate any attempt to disrupt the democratic process in any country in the region," said Samper.
During a meeting in Quito, Ecuador, which included representatives of Mercosur, ALBA, Pacific Alliance, the Andean Community and the Amazon Treaty Cooperation Agreement (OTCA), Samper added that the sanctions against Venezuela were not a good sign at this time.
“It is not a good thing that the United States unilaterally interferes in Venezuela's internal affairs precisely before the Summit of the Americas (scheduled for April) and when we were preparing to celebrate the return of Cuba to this forum,” he said.
He also condemned the fact that Washington is undermining the efforts being made by the foreign ministers of Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador to pave the way for a political dialogue respecting Venezuela's sovereignty.
Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño told teleSUR on Wednesday that the UNASUR bloc backs Venezuela's sovereignty and that the extraordinary meeting in Uruguay is to respond to Obama's actions.
“Venezuela is not alone. They have the support of all the Latin American and Caribbean countries,” he added.
Patiño said that the fact the Washington considers Venezuela a threat to its national security is unacceptable and condemned the U.S. for using these types of statements to justify intervention in sovereign countries.
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 our Americas (ALBA) group joing the growing list of countries to speak out against U.S. threats against Venezuela.
President Maduro responded to the announcement by Obama by claiming that the U.S. measures are intended to topple his government.
*An earlier version of this story said that a meeting of UNASUR foreign ministers will meet on Thursday to prepare the UNASUR summit. This meeting has since been delayed.