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Venezuela breaks diplomatic links with Panama

Published:Thursday | March 6, 2014 | 9:03 AM

Venezuela's President, Nicolas Maduro, has broken diplomatic relations and frozen economic ties with Panama.

The decision comes after the Central American nation requested a meeting at the Organization of American States to discuss Venezuela's crisis.

At least 18 people have died in street protests in the last three weeks.

Maduro made the announcement while speaking to other Latin American heads of state at events to mark the first anniversary of the death of the leader Hugo Chavez.

Panama's official statement said the country was astonished and called Maduro's words unacceptable.

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