April 18 (UPI) -- Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez said the government rejects the "gross interference" of 11 "pathetic" Latin American countries that called on President Nicolas Maduro's regime to safeguard protesters.
Rodríguez's comment follows weeks of protests in Venezuela that were ignited after the Supreme Tribunal of Justice high court said it would assume the opposition-controlled National Assembly legislature's duties -- a ruling it later reversed.
After ongoing reports that Venezuelan security forces used excessive force against peaceful protesters, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay issued a joint statement calling on the Maduro regime to "to prevent any violence against protesters."
The countries also called on the opposition groups to "exercise their right to demonstrate responsibly so that the day remains peaceful with people expressing themselves calmly."
After the statement was issued, Rodríguez said that "Venezuela rejects gross interference by governments" of the respective countries.
"These governments' double standard and political selectivity to support the Venezuelan opposition's vandalism is nothing but obscene. These governments violate international law to sponsor interventionism against Venezuela as they intend to rule it from abroad," Rodríguez said in a statement. "They have placed themselves in the ridiculous position of longing to rule Venezuela when they are but a pathetic example of violations of the human rights of their own peoples. We will continue defeating them in the international field. There will be no imperial force on Earth that crushes the spirit of the sovereign people of Venezuela."
Venezuela's Public Ministry is investigating the deaths of at least six people during the recent protests.