Venezuelan president lashes out at Canada, Donald Trump over post-election scepticism

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro holds a copy of the National Constitution while he talks to the media during a news conference at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro lashed out at U.S. President Donald Trump and the Canadian government on Tuesday  during a new conference where he defendedVenezuela‘s “secure” election system.

“President Donald Trump, I am not a dictator. The Venezuelan people would not accept a dictator. I am a humble man, a worker, not a tycoon,” Maduro said, addressing various charges Trump has made against him.

READ MORE: Venezuelan election illegitimate and a ‘step towards dictatorship,’ U.S. says

Meanwhile, Maduro also spoke out against the Canadian government which questioned on Tuesday “many irregularities that raise significant and credible concerns regarding the validity of the results,” according to a statement issued to Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland.

“There goes the stupid government of Canada saying that they don’t recognize the elections. It is of little importance to me if Canada recognizes or not Venezuela. We recognize them and we are independent and sovereign. What does it matter to me if Canada, say what it says, insolent government, stupid government of Canada. What does it matter to me, stupid government of Canada,” he said.

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Maduro’s comments came as the Socialist Party confounded opinion polls to take 17 of 23 governorships in Sunday’s (October 15) election.

Stunned by the defeat that undermines their aim to win the presidency in 2018, the opposition Democratic Unity coalition refused to acknowledge the results and called the election rigged, as did the United States.

READ MORE: Venezuela slams Canada sanctions, says Ottawa submitting to Donald Trump

Though the coalition has complained of an unfair playing field – from abuse of state resources to last-minute moving of vote centres away from opposition strongholds – it has not given detailed evidence of ballot-tampering.

The strongest criticism of Sunday’s vote came from Washington, which slammed Maduro’s “dictatorship.” Several European nations also expressed concern, while 12 countries in the Americas from the so-called Lima Group condemned “obstacles, intimidation, manipulation and irregularities”.


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