A senior diplomatic official for the Western Hemisphere was in Miami condemning the government of Venezuela as the opposition in the South American nation flooded into the streets for a massive demonstration.

Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro told an audience at an economic forum that Venezuela has “deteriorated into a full-scale dictatorship.” He said Venezuelans have been denied basic human rights and that the government of President Nicolas Maduro is only concerned with maintaining its power.

Almagro said the OAS would continue to seek a restoration of democracy.

He spoke Wednesday at the 7th World Strategic Forum at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

The OAS recently issued a strong rebuke to Venezuela for the slide toward militarism. Maduro said the hemispheric organization was persecuting his country.

Source: Associated Press