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Venezuela breaks ties with Panama

Panama was earlier denounced for taking part in a US-led attempt to "interfere" militarily in Venezuela to carry out regime change

IANS  |  Caracas 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Wednesday announced his decision to break diplomatic and trade ties with Panama, Xinhua reported citing the Venezuelan News Agency (AVN).

Earlier in the day, Maduro had denounced Panama for taking part in a US-led attempt to "interfere" militarily in Venezuela to carry out regime change.

"I have decided to break off political and diplomatic ties with the current government of Panama and freeze all commercial and economic ties as of this moment," Maduro said during commemorations marking the one-year anniversary of the death of former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

Maduro said his decision was aimed "to defend the sovereignty of our country... Nobody is going to conspire with impunity against our country, to request a (military) intervention against our country. Enough is enough."

The government of Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli Tuesday proposed member countries of the Organisation of American States (OAS), a US-dominated regional bloc, to hold an urgent meeting on the political turmoil that has rocked Venezuela since early February.

"There's a rightwing government that's aiming to convene the Permanent Council of the OAS. It is a plan for the intervention of foreign forces in the country. I am going to respond forcefully and powerfully to any attempt at intervention in Venezuela. I ask the people for their support," Maduro said earlier Wednesday.

"The OAS should stay out of here now and forever. Our path is Unasur (the Union of South American Nations)," Maduro added.

First Published: Thu, March 06 2014. 08:20 IST