June 1, 2016, "Venezuela's Maduro rooting for 'revolutionary friend' Sanders in U.S. campaign," Reuters, Caracas,
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
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
"Bernie Sanders, our
revolutionary friend, ought to win in the United States," Maduro said
during an hours-long televised broadcast.
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
In an email to supporters in September, Sanders called Chavez a "dead communist dictator."
reeling from a brutal economic crisis that has seen food and medicine
running short and spiraling inflation destroying incomes.
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.
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."