Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS) Luis Almagro said Friday in the border city of Cucuta, Colombia that a "military intervention aimed at overthrowing the regime of Nicolas Maduro" shouldn't be "excluded" as an option.
"With regards to a military intervention aimed at overthrowing the regime of Nicolas Maduro, I think we should not exclude any option," the head of the Washington-based OAS, who has been a staunch critic of Maduro , said less than a week after a New York Times report revealed United States officials had met with rogue Venezuelan army officers who were plotting to overthrow Maduro.
Bolivian President Evo Morales condemned Almagro's remarks via Twitter, arguing his call for a military intervention "confirms he stopped being secretary general of the OAS to become a civil agent of Trump's coup plots."
"Attacking Venezuela is attacking Latin America," Morales warned Saturday.
On the same day, Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez also condemned Almagro statements and said the country's government would take them to the United Nations because they are "promoting a military intervention against our homeland and attacking peace in Latin America and the Caribbean."
Almagro's hostile comments were made during a visit with Colombian President Ivan Duque, who has expressed support for the Washington-based Inter-American system and recently withdrew Colombia from the Union of South American Nations (Unasur).
During his Colombia visit, Almagro went to Cucuta to address the situation of Venezuelan migrants, who left their country in search for better economic opportunities.
The Venezuelan government has argued increased migration and the economic crisis are an effect of the economic and financial sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the European Union, but detractors, including Almagro, insist the situation is caused by "tyranny" and "dictatorship."
"The international community is responsible and cannot allow the existence of dictatorship in Venezuela, a dictatorship that affects the stability of the entire region," Almagro argued. However, most Latin American governments do not favor a military invasion or a war among neighbors.
U.S. diplomatic attacks against Venezuela include U.S. failed attempts to remove Venezuela from the OAS and open calls for a military overthrow by president Donald Trump. In 2017 Venezuela formally started its withdrawal procedure from the OAS arguing it serves U.S. interests in the region and it will cease to be a member by 2019.
A military intervention in Venezuela would violate the country's sovereignty, but it would not be a first for the OAS, which backed a U.S. invasion against the Dominican Republic in 1965.