The photo shows (L-R) Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa, UNASUR’s Secretary General Ernesto Samper, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino and Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez during a press conference in Quito on March 14, 2015. - AFP

The photo shows (L-R) Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa, UNASUR’s Secretary General Ernesto Samper, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino and Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez during a press conference in Quito on March 14, 2015. – AFP

QUITO – The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) has slammed the United States for its decision to label Venezuela as a security threat and impose sanctions against a number of its officials, calling on Washington to revoke the measure.

Foreign ministers from the 12-nation UNASUR slammed Washington’s move during an emergency summit held Saturday in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, to discuss the recent events involving Venezuela.

“We call upon the United States to evaluate and implement dialogue as an alternative,” the ministers said in a joint statement.

They said the signing of an executive order by US President Barack Obama on March 9 labeling Caracas as an extraordinary threat to national security was actually a threat to Venezuela’s sovereignty.

UNASUR also said the actions by the United States amounted to “an interventionist threat to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.”

The reaction by UNASUR comes against the backdrop of sanctions passed by Washington against seven Venezuelan officials for allegedly violating the rights of opponents and critics of the government.

Washington’s decision has drawn criticism from a number of regional leaders, including Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, Bolivian President Evo Morales, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. – Press TV