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Venezuela says opposition lawmaker has lost seat

Tuesday, March 25, 2014    

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CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The head of Venezuela's congress says leading opposition politician Maria Corina Machado has lost her seat in the legislature and is no longer immune from prosecution for her alleged role fomenting violence in anti-government protests.

Diosdado Cabello said yesterday that Machado violated the constitution by addressing the Organisation of American States last week at the invitation of Panama, which ceded its seat at the Washington-based group, so she could provide regional diplomats with a first-hand account of the unrest.

President Nicolas Maduro referred to Machado as "ex-congresswoman" on Saturday, a few days after arresting two opposition mayors for allegedly conspiring with the US to topple his 11-month old administration.

Machado responded in a Twitter message yesterday, writing, "Landing in Lima. Mr Cabello: I AM a congresswoman as long the people of Venezuela want me to be."

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