Venezuela wants South America 'as a region' to ask US to lift sanctions

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday he would propose that South America as a region asks the United States to lift its sanctions against the country.

Maduro delivered the remarks after a bilateral meeting with his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who dubbed the US sanctions "extremely exaggerated," as leaders in the region prepare to meet in Brasilia for a summit later this week.

The Venezuelan president also said his country wants to be part of the BRICS group of leading emerging nations, with Lula saying he would personally favor a bid from neighboring Venezuela to join it.