Mexico’s top diplomat Luis Videgaray said on Tuesday that Venezuela is no longer a functioning democracy, one day before foreign ministers from across the Americas are due to meet to discuss the crisis gripping the South American country.
The comments mark one of the most aggressive critiques of the government of Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro to date from Videgaray, the former finance minister and close confidant of President Enrique Pena Nieto.
“We have to call things by their name, and what we have here is a country that, in fact, has ceased to be a functional democracy and this is a tremendously dangerous thing for the region,” Videgaray said at the Americas Conference Series in Miami, Florida.
The conference was organized by the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald news organizations as a forum of international business and government leaders.
Videgaray has been sharply criticized by Maduro’s government but has nonetheless pledged to use all diplomatic channels to help reach a peaceful political solution to the bloody crisis in Venezuela.