Members of the largest Venezuelan expatriate community in the United States are sending a petition to President Barack Obama seeking his help in the reopening of their country's consulate in Miami.
At a press conference Thursday, community leaders asked that any conversations between the U.S. and Venezuela include discussion of the Miami consulate.
The groups also called on immigration authorities to halt deportations to Venezuela.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez closed the country's Miami consulate last year after Washington ordered Consul General Livia Acosta Noguera to leave the U.S.
Chavez died on Tuesday and new presidential elections are to be held within 30 days. Last October, Venezuelans in Miami traveled to New Orleans to vote in the Venezuelan presidential elections. They said they would do so again if necessary.