Rice called on to protect democracy in Venezuela

U.S. Secretary of State &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/usa/2001/10/14/18028.html ' target=_blank>Condoleezza Rice opened the 35th General Assembly meeting of the Organization of American States Sunday in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Secretary Rice called on member states to do more to protect democracy in the region, and strengthen civil society.

Condoleezza Rice opened the first OAS General Assembly to be held in the United States in more than 30 years by telling delegates that democracy needs to be strengthened in the Western Hemisphere, and governments need to be held accountable to their people.

Secretary Rice called for the General Assembly to approve the Inter-American Democratic Charter, a document endorsed in 2001 that calls for all people in the hemisphere to live in free societies with elected governments, reports VOA News.

According to Xinhuanet, the US' call to support what they called "fragile" democracies in the West was immediately met by Venezuelan accusation of seeking to impose what they called a "global dictatorship."

The United States hopes to use a three-day meeting of the 34-member &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/369/13868_Cuba.html ' target=_blank>Organization of American States to advance its idea of allowing private groups to help monitor democracy by raising their concerns with the OAS.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters that it's very clear that the institution needs to be better capable of dealing with fragile democracies.

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