Venezuela breaks relations with Panama over protest talks

March 5, 2014
3 Comments

CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Nicolás 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 Chávez’s death, Maduro said he had also decided to freeze all trade and economic ties with the Central American nation.

Maduro directed his anger against Panama after it requested a private meeting of the Washington-based Organization of American States to be held on Thursday to seek solutions to resolve tensions in Venezuela.

Juan Barreto/AFP
A Venezuelan Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MK2 aircraft takes part in a military ceremony in Caracas on March 5, 2014. Juan Barreto/AFP

Panama is proposing consultations between foreign ministers to examine the situation in Venezuela.

“In the face of the open conspiracy of the Panamanian government’s ambassador to the OAS, I have decided to break political and diplomatic relations with Panama,” Maduro said at a former military barracks where Chávez is entombed.

“Nobody will conspire with impunity to ask for an intervention against our fatherland. Enough!” Maduro thundered as leftist presidents Raúl Castro of Cuba, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Evo Morales of Bolivia looked on.

Leo Ramírez/AFP
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, right, and his wife, Rosario Murillo, pay respects in front of the tomb of the late President Hugo Chávez during a ceremony commemorating Chávez's death one year ago, at the Cuartel de la Montana in Caracas on March 5, 2014. Leo Ramírez/AFP

At least 18 people have died in anti-government protests since they first erupted on Feb. 4.

Maduro says the protests are a U.S.-backed plot by “fascists” to overthrow his government.

The socialist leader expelled three U.S. diplomats last month, prompting Washington to kick out three Venezuelan embassy officials.

The two nations have not had ambassadors since 2010, though Maduro has designated a new envoy to Washington.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

PeaceJam to host first Youth Summit in Costa Rica
Peace Talks
298 views
Peace Talks
298 views

PeaceJam to host first Youth Summit in Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 19, 2018

Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams will headline the first PeaceJam Youth Summit in Costa Rica next month. The event, scheduled…

The energy of sound
Pic of the Day
322 views
Pic of the Day
322 views

The energy of sound

Alissa Grosskopf - October 19, 2018

“Sound is vibration, vibration is energy and that energy is light,” said Costa Rican musician Carlos "Tapado" Vargas. Apart from…

Human rights defender Alvaro Leiva: ‘There is a permanent darkness in Nicaragua’
Nicaragua
604 views
Nicaragua
604 views

Human rights defender Alvaro Leiva: ‘There is a permanent darkness in Nicaragua’

Katherine Stanley - October 19, 2018

When Alvaro Leiva took the stage at a recent fundraiser for Nicaraguan refugees and immigrants in Costa Rica, all eyes…