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US pretends to ‘give lessons in democracy’: Maduro skewers election snafu as Venezuela prepares to hold its own vote

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ridiculed the US’ shambolic election outcome in light of Washington’s efforts to force its peculiar style of “democracy” down other countries’ throats, particularly Venezuela and its allies.

Maduro declined to comment on the outcome of the US election in a televised speech on Wednesday, asking for the US to return the favor and not meddle in Venezuela’s democracy when the country votes in December. However, he couldn’t resist throwing a little shade at the nation which attempted to replace him last year with then-opposition leader Juan Guaido, a self-proclaimed “president” recognized by Washington.

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We do not interfere in the internal affairs of the United States. And we hate it when they pretend to give lessons in democracy to the world,” he said in the televised speech, adding that Venezuelans know the outcome of their elections the night of the vote. The coming elections will be a demonstration of the country’s “proven, transparent electoral system,” Maduro continued.

While one faction of the Venezuelan opposition has vowed to boycott December’s vote as they did in May 2018, preemptively declaring it a “fraud,” another opposition group has hinted they will challenge Maduro electorally. Guaido, meanwhile, has declared he will hold his own vote, though he hasn’t explained how he plans to do that without the participation of the country’s Electoral Council.

The US-backed upstart declared himself to be Venezuela’s “interim president” in January 2019 despite never having won an election and was immediately backed by the US and a host of allies. The one time he ran for elected office – in the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable’s presidential primary in 2012 – he lost, and he was further marginalized in January when he was replaced as speaker of the National Assembly. Guaido tried and failed to lead a coup against Maduro several times in the first year of his anointment as opposition leader.

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The US has punished Maduro’s Venezuela for refusing to bend to Washington’s will by imposing ruinous sanctions, placing a $15 million bounty on the heads of the president and several of his top officials while accusing them of drug trafficking, and allegedly funding a bizarre mercenary raid with the apparent aim of kidnapping or even killing Maduro.

Despite his well-founded grievances against Trump, Maduro has good reason to avoid picking favorites in the 2020 contest. The Venezuelan leader accused Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden of plotting a coup against him in 2015 while Biden was vice president of the US under President Barack Obama, declaring that the career politician was responsible for a scheme to assassinate him. Socialist Venezuela has long been a thorn in Washington’s side, sitting on more oil than any other country in the Western Hemisphere.

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