A protester throws a molotov cocktail at Venezuelan security forces during an anti-government demonstration on March 6, 2014 in Caracas.
John Moore—Getty Images
March 7, 2014 4:49 AM EST

Venezuela’s government has broken off ties with Panama and expelled its ambassador and three other diplomats.

The foreign ministry of Venezuela declared the quartet “persona non grata” in the troubled Latin American country and ordered them to leave within 48 hours.

The Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has also frozen all trade and economic ties with Panama.

The note was delivered after Panama called a meeting between North, South and Central American countries to seek a solution to the tense situation in Venezuela. On Feb. 4, anti-government protests erupted and quickly turned violent.

At least 20 people have died in clashes between protesters and riot police, and close to 300 persons have been injured.


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