Maduro accuses the United States of “conspiring” against the regional elections in Venezuela

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Caracas (AFP) – Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro, suggested on Tuesday that the US government was responsible for an alleged “conspiracy” against the November 21 elections, which marked the return of major opposition parties to competition after years of abstentions.

“The State Department is already plotting against the Venezuelan elections, and I must warn the world and reject the rude and overlapping statements of the US State Department,” Maduro said during a speech broadcast on state television.

The president based his assertions on a newspaper article that quoted statements by a “White House spokesperson” who believed that the upcoming elections would “be rigged.”

“It is a shame that the State Department intends to interfere in Venezuela’s internal affairs and is trying to rule out carefully prepared elections,” said Maduro, whose re-election in 2018, among other countries, the United States does not know, among others. which it considers “fraudulent”.

“Venezuela is respected! We have to make it respect it, and the way to make it respect it is to go out and vote and slap the State Department with your hand with your vote so that they respect Venezuela. Vote! Vote! Vote!” he cried.

The United States is leading international pressure against the Chavista government with a series of sanctions that include an oil embargo and a freeze on the Caribbean nation’s assets abroad, something Caracas called a “criminal blockade”.

Some 21 million Venezuelans were called to the polls on Sunday to elect 23 governors and 335 mayors, as well as local and regional legislators, in a process in which major opposition organizations decided to participate after three years of boycotts and calls to abstain.

The elections will also include an observer mission from the European Union, who returns to the country after 15 years, as well as the Carter Center, founded by former US President Jimmy Carter, who returns to Venezuela after eight years of absence.

Venezuelan authorities said on Tuesday that more than 350,000 security personnel, including the army and police, will guard the elections for governors and mayors in Venezuela.

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