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Venezuela to Name US Envoy as Protests Continue

  • VOA News

Venezuela is expected to name a new ambassador to the United States Tuesday, a week after expelling three U.S. diplomats it accused of conspiring with student protesters.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he was selecting an ambassador because he wanted to improve dialogue with the United States.

The move follows weeks of anti-government protests in Venezuela that have left at least 13 people dead. The ongoing demonstrations are the biggest challenge to Maduro since he took power last April.

Venezuela and the U.S. have not had ambassadors in each other's countries since 2010.

Venezuela has accused the U.S. of meddling in its internal affairs, while the U.S. has expressed its own concerns about the leftist government of the late Hugo Chavez and his successor, Maduro, including its ties to countries such as Cuba, Iran and Russia.

The anti-Maduro protesters said the president's socialist-inspired policies have led to shortages of basic goods and inflation above 50 percent, despite the country's vast oil reserves.

Maduro, meanwhile, accuses opponents of trying to stage a U.S.-backed coup.

Some information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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