Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro urged Washington on Saturday to join a “high-level commission” to promote peace after more than a month of deadly anti-government demonstrations.

Maduro blames the United States for the riots, a charge US officials on Friday dismissed as “absurd.”

At least 28 people have been killed and 400 injured in the student-led protests that began February 4 in western Venezuela and spread to Caracas and other cities. …

Maduro, speaking at a rally in support of the armed forces, said he would propose a commission “for peace and mutual respect of sovereignty” between Venezuela and the United States that could include parties from both sides and the UNASUR grouping of South American nations.