Venezuela’s embattled president, Nicolas Maduro, said on Tuesday night he supported Bernie Sanders in the U.S. presidential race, adding that the candidate, who describes himself as a democratic socialist, would win if the vote were “free.”
Maduro, a socialist who sees himself as the political heir to his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, has long railed against the United States, blaming it for Venezuela’s economic crisis and accusing Washington of attempting to topple him.
“Bernie Sanders, our revolutionary friend, ought to win in the United States,” Maduro said during an hours-long televised broadcast.
“If the elections were free … Bernie Sanders would be president of the United States,” he said, criticizing the U.S. Electoral College system as unrepresentative of popular sentiment.
Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, trails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination for the Nov. 8 presidential election.
In an email to supporters in September, Sanders called Chavez a “dead communist dictator.”
Venezuela is reeling from a brutal economic crisis that has seen food and medicine running short and spiraling inflation destroying incomes.
The United States and Venezuela have had troubled relations since Chavez became president in 1999, and the countries have not exchanged ambassadors since 2010.
Maduro suffered a blow on Tuesday, when the head of the Washington-based Organization of American States called an urgent meeting to discuss whether Venezuela was violating basic democratic principles, paving the way for a vote that could suspend it from the regional diplomatic body. (http://reut.rs/1P1h0ND)
Maduro is also under pressure from Venezuela’s opposition, which is pushing for a recall referendum to remove him from office this year, although authorities have said there would be no such vote.
(Additional reporting by Luciana Lopez in New York; Writing by Girish Gupta; Editing by Alexandra Ulmer and Peter Cooney)
Trump approves of North Korea missile tests: ‘I have no problem’ because they’re just ‘short-range missiles’
On Thursday, in conversation with reporters, President Donald Trump said that he had 'no problem' with North Korea's new round of missile tests.
"Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that," said Trump. "I have no problem, we'll see what happens, but these are short-range missiles. They're very standard."
The thought that short-range missiles would still be capable of hitting our allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan, does not seem to have occurred to him.
Trump says he has "no problem" with North Korea testing missiles because they are just "short-range missiles" that are "very standard." pic.twitter.com/fdKtQ6yrBE
Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls
But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans
The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.
In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.