Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said he would nominate a new ambassador to the U.S., despite accusing Washington of fomenting violence which has killed more than 13 people.
"U.S. society needs to know the truth about Venezuela," Maduro said late Monday. "They (Americans) think we're killing each other. They think we can't go out to the corner. They're asking for U.S. military intervention in Venezuela. What madness! Should that happen, you and I will be out with a gun defending our territory.''
The two countries have not had ambassadors since 2008, and the Venezuelan president expelled three U.S. diplomats last week, accusing them of involvement in the student protests.
Sporadic protests continued on Tuesday, as students erected some roadblocks in parts of Caracas.
Celebrities like Madonna and Cher have condemned the Maduro government's actions and others like Ricky Martin and Wilmer Valderrama have expressed concern and asked fans to pray for the Venezuelan people.
But Argentinian former soccer star Diego Maradona has thrown his support behind Maduro.
"We are seeing all the lies the imperialists are saying and inventing," Maradona said during a recent press event promoting the fact that he had signed a deal to be a World Cup commentator on the Venezuelan Telesur network.
He added that he was prepared to "be a soldier for Venezuela in whatever is required."
--Reuters contributed to this report.
First published February 25 2014, 8:03 AM