Venezuela leader says he's restoring diplomatic relations with Panama under its new president

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says his government is restoring diplomatic relations with Panama now that the Central American country has a new president.

Maduro broke off relations on March 5 after Panama requested that the Organization of American States urgently address a political crisis in Venezuela that resulted from months of violent anti-government protests.

Maduro made his announcement following the Tuesday swearing-in of Juan Carlos Varela as Panama's president.

There has been no comment from Panama, but the conservative Varela has repeatedly said he would week to restore relations with Venezuela's socialist government. Varela has said that he and Maduro have a friendship dating back to when they were the foreign ministers for their countries.