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Venezuela opposition lawmaker has lost seat

Opposition deputy Maria Corina Machado talked to members of the National Guard during a protest on March 16.

JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images

Opposition deputy Maria Corina Machado talked to members of the National Guard during a protest on March 16.

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 Monday that Machado violated the constitution by addressing the Organization 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 firsthand account of the unrest.

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

Machado responded in a Twitter message Monday, writing, ‘‘Landing in Lima. Mr. Cabello: i AM a congresswoman as long the people of Venezuela want me to be.’’

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