Denouncing the nation of Panama as a 'lackey,' Venezuela severs diplomatic ties
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/6/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
In yet another dramatic move on the part of the South American nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has severed diplomatic ties with Panama. Denouncing the country as being a "lackey" of the United States, Maduro accused Panama of being aligned with the U.S. in conspiracy against his government.
In yet another dramatic move on the part of the South American nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has severed diplomatic ties with Panama.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "There are maneuvers by the U.S. government plotting with a lackey government that has a right-wing president who is leaving in the next few months, who is not worthy of his people, who has been working actively against Venezuela," President Maduro said on Venezuelan television.
Maduro says that Panama has been actively pushing for regional organizations to intervene in Venezuela. Maduro in his response said he was cutting off diplomatic and political ties. He has also frozen trade relations with Panama's current government "in defense of the homeland's sovereignty."
In a Twitter response, Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli claimed he was surprised by Venezuela's decision. "Panama only longs for its brother country to find peace and strengthen its democracy," he said.
Recent anti-government protests in Venezuela have posed the biggest threat Maduro has faced since his election last year.
Panama's government denied Maduro's accusations last week and said it had tried to encourage action by the Organization of American States to help promote dialogue, democracy and human rights in Venezuela.
"We reject as unacceptable the insults uttered by President Nicolas Maduro against our country and its highest authority. The foul language used is inappropriate for the president of a brother country," the statement said.
Political unrest has stormed Venezuela over the past several weeks -- Maduro expelled three U.S. diplomats form his country last month, accusing them of conspiring against his government.
In retaliation, the U.S. expelled three Venezuelan diplomats last week in retaliation.
The State Department has repeatedly denied Venezuela's accusations that it's funding opposition efforts to topple Maduro's government or involved in other conspiracy plots.
"Venezuela, rather than trying to distract from its own failings by making up false accusations against diplomats from the United States, the government ought to focus on addressing the legitimate grievances of the Venezuelan people," U.S. President Barack Obama told reporters last month.
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