CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Friday that South Florida politicians are leading the United States into an extremist foreign policy against his country and his foreign minister called Secretary of State John Kerry a murderer.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are leading a “Miami lobby” trying to influence President Obama, Maduro said in a televised news conference Friday. Rubio and Ros-Lehtinen are co-sponsoring efforts in their respective chambers to impose sanctions on members of the Venezuelan government tied to human rights abuses.

“Obama can’t let himself be taken by the Miami lobby,” Maduro said. “I call on the United States to take it easy. They’re taking President Obama to an abyss and he’s going to end up crashing.”

Anti-government street protests by Venezuelans fed up with soaring inflation, violent crime and shortages of basic items such as flour and cooking oil have roiled Venezuela for more than a month.