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Sanders on Why He Hasn’t Called Maduro a Dictator: ‘There Are Still Democratic Operations’ in Venezuela

IAN HANCHETT

During a town hall on CNN on Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) defended his refusal to call Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro a dictator by saying that while the last election in Venezuela wasn’t democratic, “there are still democratic operations taking place” in Venezuela.

Moderator Wolf Blitzer asked, “Senator, why have you stopped short of calling Maduro of Venezuela a dictator?”

Sanders answered, “Well, he — I think it’s fair to say that the last election was undemocratic, but there are still democratic operations taking place in that country. The point is, what I am calling for right now is internationally supervised free elections. And I do find it interesting that Trump is very concerned about what goes on in Venezuela, but what about the last election that took place in Saudi Arabia? Oh, there wasn’t any election in Saudi Arabia. Oh, women are treated as third-class citizens. So, I find it interesting that Trump is kind of selective as to where he is concerned about democracy. My record is to be concerned about democracy all over the world. So, we’ve got to do everything we can, but at the end of the day, it is going to be the people of Venezuela who determine the future of their country, not the United States of America.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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