Venezuela accuses US of meddling

Anti-government students hold a protest in Caracas on February 16, 2014Venezuela accused the United States of backing anti-government protesters who have marched against the leftist leader for two weeks and show no signs of backing down. Protests against the government showed no sign of abating, as the fugitive opposition leader whom President Nicolas Maduro blames for sowing unrest broke his silence to urge another demonstration. The demonstrations have developed into the biggest challenge to the country’s socialist rulers since the death of its longtime leader Hugo Chavez from cancer last year. Accusing Washington of meddling to help sow the unrest, Maduro said he has ordered the expulsion of three US consular officials, whom he did not name.