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Venezuela looks to S. American leaders as toll hits 20

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called a meeting of South American leaders over the growing turmoil facing his country, where the death toll from a month of anti-government protests hit 20. The under-pressure leader's move Thursday came a day after he broke off relations with Panama, following its call for the rival Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS) to convene on the crisis.

Maduro blames 'minority' for Venezuela violence

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blamed the month-old unrest shaking his country on a "minority" that has left the opposition in a difficult situation. In an interview with CNN, Maduro also renewed his call for establishing a new level of relations with the United States after years of frosty relations. "My message (to the US) is: respect, dialogue, that we overcome the visions they have of our country," Maduro said. "Our message to those who rule the US is respect Venezuela, respect Latin America and let's establish new levels of relations."

Venezuela expels Panama ambassador, three others

The Venezuelan government ordered Panama's ambassador and three other diplomats at the mission to leave the country within 48 hours, a Panamanian official said Thursday, a day after Caracas broke ties with Panama City. "We received a note from the foreign ministry of Venezuela that was delivered to our embassy in which it declared four diplomats working in our embassy as 'persona non grata,'" Panama's Deputy Foreign Minister Mayra Arosemena told reporters. The diplomats are Ambassador Pedro Pereira, charge d'affaires Jaime Serrano and two other embassy officials.

Venezuela looks to S.American leaders as toll hits 20

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro urged a meeting of South American leaders over the growing turmoil facing his country, where the death toll from a month of anti-government protests hit 20. The under-pressure leader's move on Thursday came a day after he broke off relations with Panama, following its call for the rival Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS) to convene on the crisis.

Maduro wants South America to meet on Venezuela crisis

President Nicolas Maduro called Thursday for a meeting of South American leaders on the turmoil in Venezuela after more than a month of anti-government street protests. Maduro made the request to visiting Suriname President Desi Bouterse, the current head of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), a regional bloc that does not include the United States. The move came a day after the Venezuelan leader broke off relations with Panama following its call for a meeting of the rival Washington-based Organization of American States on the crisis.

Two dead in Venezuela opposition protest: official

CARACAS (Reuters) - A Venezuelan soldier and a motor cyclist were killed in a standoff with opposition demonstrators who had set up a barricade along an avenue of Caracas, the vice president of the ruling Socialist Party said on Thursday. Demonstrators demanding the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro have for weeks been staging rallies and setting up barricades, leading to clashes with security forces and government supporters. At least 20 have been killed.

Maduro wants South America to meet on Venezuela crisis

President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday called for a meeting of South American leaders on the turmoil in Venezuela after more than a month of anti-government street protests. Maduro made the request to visiting Suriname President Desi Bouterse, the current head of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), a regional bloc that does not include the United States. The move came a day after the Venezuelan president broke off relations with Panama after it called for a meeting of the rival Washington-based Organization of American States on the crisis.

Panama says rejects Venezuelan President Maduro's 'offenses'

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - The government of Panama said on Wednesday that it rejected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's "unacceptable offenses" against it after the South American oil giant broke off diplomatic and commercial ties with the Central American nation. Earlier, Maduro had used the anniversary of former President Hugo Chavez's death to sever ties with Panama, whose conservative government he accused of joining the United States in "open conspiracy" against him. (Reporting by Lomi Kriel)

Venezuela breaks diplomatic relations with Panama

Caracas, Mar 5 (EFE).- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Wednesday that he was breaking diplomatic relations with Panama and freezing bilateral economic links. "I have decided to break political and diplomatic relations with the current government of Panama," said Maduro at an event to pay tribute to late predecessor Hugo Chavez. Maduro's words came after the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States announced that on Thursday it will study a request by Panama to call a meeting of foreign ministers regarding the situation in Venezuela.

Venezuela breaks relations with Panama over demo talks

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Wednesday his government was breaking diplomatic relations with Panama after the country called a meeting of North and Latin American nations over protests in Caracas. Writing on Twitter, Panama President Ricardo Martinelli said that the move was "surprising," adding: "Panama only longs for our sister country to find peace and strengthen its democracy," Earlier, during a ceremony marking the anniversary of Hugo Chavez's death, Maduro said he had also decided to freeze all trade and economic ties with the Central American nation.
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