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The Latest: Panama withdraws ambassador from Venezuela

April 6, 2018

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Latest on rising tensions between Venezuela and Panama (all times local):

8:20 p.m.

Officials in Panama say they’re withdrawing their ambassador from Venezuela amid heightened tensions between the two countries.

Panama announced the diplomatic move on Thursday, while demanding that Caracas withdraw its ambassador.

The dispute between the countries began when Panama put Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and several other high-ranking officials on a watch list as being at “high risk” for laundering money.

Venezuela retaliated, temporarily banning a group of Panamanian businesses from operating within its borders.

Venezuela’s ban targeted Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela and Copa, one of the few airlines still operating within Venezuela.

Venezuela is increasingly isolated. The United States has sanctioned Maduro and dozens of top officials, accusing the country of human rights abuses and sliding into a dictatorship.

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