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VIDEO: Maduro calls urgent summit of 33 regional leaders on Venezuela crisis

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday called for an urgent meeting of Latin American and Caribbean leaders to address the crisis in his country.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — He urged the 14-nation Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), a regional organization based in Caracas, to help arrange the meeting.

“I have formally proposed that El Salvador’s President Salvador Sanchez Ceren… convene an urgent summit of heads of state and government from Latin America and the Caribbean – 33 countries – to bring the Venezuelan issue into focus,” Maduro said in a televised announcement.

The alliance has been supportive of a dialogue with Venezuela and has condemned sanctions imposed on it by the United States to dissuade President Maduro from holding a controversial election to a new constituent assembly.

Peru expels Venezuelan ambassador to protest constituent assembly

LIMA (Reuters) – Peru said on Friday it was expelling Venezuela’s ambassador to Peru to protest the country’s recent formation of an all-powerful constituent assembly that has been widely condemned as a power grab by socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela responded by ordering the charge d’affaires at the Peruvian embassy in Caracas to leave the country within five days. Peru withdrew its ambassador to Venezuela in March.

Peru’s announcement on Friday, shortly after President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski called Maduro a “dictator”, marked the first time that a country has moved to expel a Venezuelan ambassador since the country’s July 30 vote to form the constituent assembly amid allegations of fraud.

In Latin America, Peru has taken the toughest stance toward Maduro as he seeks to consolidate power and crack down on anti-government protests and unrest that have left 120 dead since April.

Police guard as press stand outside the Venezuela’s embassy in Lima, Peru, August 11, 2017Mariana Bazo

Earlier this week, Peru summoned top diplomats from the region to discuss Venezuela in Lima, Peru’s capital, where 12 nations condemned the “rupture of democratic order” in Venezuela and said they would not recognize any action taken by the constituent assembly.

Maduro has said the constituent assembly is the country’s only chance at securing peace and prosperity.

Venezuela called Kuczynski, a former Wall Street banker, “an enemy of the country, for continually interfering in the domestic affairs of Venezuela.”

“The Venezuelan government will continue to deepen relations with the heroic Peruvian people despite the actions of the elite that governs Peru,” Venezuela’s foreign ministry said in a statement. It added that its ambassador to Peru, Diego Molero, was in Venezuela.

The escalating rhetoric came as U.S. President Donald Trump threatened military intervention in Venezuela, which Venezuela called “an act of craziness.”

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