Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro compared President Donald Trump to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in an interview with socialist fugitive ex-Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa on Thursday.
Correa, wanted on charges of kidnapping a political dissident and corruption involving lucrative oil deals with China and currently exiled in Belgium, is a television host on Russia Today (RT), the state propaganda network. His program Conversando con Correa (“Talking with Correa”) featured Maduro this week.
“Venezuela is not being sanctioned, it is being attacked,” said Correa. “Even if they were sanctions, on what basis are they? Under what international law?”
“For that reason, I will say something that is not an exaggeration,” Maduro responded. “Donald Trump has a kind of obsession and hatred against the Latin American people in general, against refugees, immigrants … but he has a special hatred for the people of Venezuela and all our history.”
“And Donald Trump is playing out that hatred against the people of Venezuela in a similar way to Nazi Germany, with the same vision that Hitler had against the European Jews in the 1930s before war broke out in 1939,” Maduro alleged.
Maduro a Correa: "Yo lo comparo a Trump con la era de Hitler"
Venezuela: realidades y mitos, persecución financiera mundial, manipulación mediática, modelo rentista… son algunos de los temas que abordarán @MashiRafael y @NicolasMaduro en el programa #ConversandoConCorrea. pic.twitter.com/YtAfaibZIO
— RT en Español (@ActualidadRT) September 18, 2019
Maduro then went on to mock the legitimate president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, who has failed to wrestle power away from the socialist dictatorship and instigate a transition to democracy.
“The strategy of building a parallel government with the support of the United States and its Latin American allies from the Lima Group, it has failed, it has no chance of success,” Maduro said.
The real power is in the hands of the European oligarchic structures, they are the closest allies of the American government. They are like blood brothers. Donald Trump has imposed his extremist policies towards Venezuela on Europe.
There is a distorted image of Venezuela in the international media, and then there is the real Venezuela that you can see with your own eyes. It is nation that above all protects itself, like a family.
The Russian government is one of the few in the world to continue recognizing Maduro as the head of state of Venezuela, despite his term expiring in January. Moscow actively supports Maduro financially and militarily. As an arm of the Putin regime, RT regularly attempts to downplay the extent of Venezuela’s economic and humanitarian crisis while giving substantial coverage to individuals blaming the country’s problems on the United States.
Correa and Maduro have long been friends and allies on the basis of their shared socialist principles. As president, Correa was a strong supporter of the late dictator Hugo Chávez and counted on support from a collection of leftist leaders that rose to prominence in the region in the 2000s. Most have since lost power, ceding their leadership to more right-leaning heads of state, most notably Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Mauricio Macri in Argentina, and Sebastián Piñera in Chile.
Last year, an Ecuadorian court issued an arrest warrant for Correa over his alleged involvement in the kidnapping of the lawmaker and political opponent Fernando Balda in 2012. Criminal investigations into his political tenure began after he refused to testify on his deals with China, in which he sold vast amounts of oil to Beijing at low prices in what the Ecuadorian Prosecutor General last year described as the “greatest heist in the country’s history.” He has so far refused to abide the warrant and remains in his wife’s native Belgium, from where he is yet to face extradition.
During his decade in office, Correa himself faced criticisms for his left-wing authoritarianism, which included attempts to curtail the freedom of the press and threatening and persecuting political opponents. In 2015, he also stoked controversy by responding to accusations of fascism by tweeting “Heil Hitler!” That same year, he also attacked President Barack Obama’s views on American history, declaring it “troubling that an Afro minimizes history.”