CARACAS, Venezuela — The Caribbean Series starting next week has been moved from Venezuela to Panama for security reasons.

Caribbean Professional Baseball Leagues commissioner Juan Francisco Puello announced the decision on Monday. The series will begin on Feb. 4 at Rod Carew National Stadium in Panama City.

Violent street protests have erupted in Venezuela since opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido declared himself interim president in defiance of President Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuelan Sports Minister Pedro Infante pleaded for the series to be staged as scheduled in Barquisimeto, saying the government could guarantee security.

U.S.-based Major League Baseball had urged players and staff not travel to Venezuela for the series.

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