Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro called the head of the Organization of American States [OAS] "garbage" for highlighting the crisis in the Latin American country.
Maduro used the insulting word to describe OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro during a government event in the northern Venezuelan state of Miranda on Wednesday after the high-ranking official called on Caracas to hold elections or be suspended from the regional diplomatic body.
Almagro, a Uruguayan, had said elections were crucial to paving the way for overcoming severe food shortages and soaring inflation in Venezuela, calling on authorities to hold the vote "as quickly as possible."
Venezuela, which has the world's highest inflation rate, is facing severe shortages of food, medicine, and basic household goods after a slump in global oil prices. The country is also grappling with a high unemployment rate.
Maduro blames the economic crisis on what he says is a US-sponsored ploy, which according to him is aimed at destabilizing the country.
The opposition has been calling for the resignation of Maduro, who was elected in 2013 for a six-year term. There have been protests for and against the Venezuelan president in recent months.
Venezuela's opposition has been demanding a recall referendum against Maduro, who was elected in 2013 for a six-year term.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team