Regional powers to meet over Venezuela crisis: Mexico

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has warned foreign countries against interfering in his country's crisis

North and South American countries will likely hold a special meeting next week on Venezuela's economic and political crisis, a top Mexican official said on Friday.

He spoke a day after 14 member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) including the United States urged Venezuela to free political prisoners and hold elections.

"The next move will very likely be an extraordinary session of the OAS's permanent council next week," Mexico's ambassador to the OAS, Luis Alfonso de Alba, said on Radio Formula.

Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro has warned foreign countries against interfering in the crisis.

He is resisting pressure to hold an election. His domestic opponents blame him for the crisis that has caused food and medicine shortages in the oil-rich nation.

Maduro says the crisis is the result of an "economic war" by US-backed business interests.

The 14 countries stopped short of backing a threat to suspend Venezuela from the regional group, made by OAS head Luis Almagro in a report last week.

They called instead for dialogue to resolve the crisis.

In a statement, the countries said they were "deeply concerned" about Venezuela.

They said they would "carefully" evaluate Almagro's report "with a view to agreeing on a coordinated course of action."

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