Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro on Tuesday vowed to “defeat” whoever wins America’s upcoming presidential election, but claimed he would welcome them with “hugs and open arms” should they wish to engage in dialogue.
Maduro made the remarks during an address at Venezuela’s Federal Legislative Palace, where he presented an “anti-blockade” law intended to change the country’s legal system to combat the economic sanctions imposed by the United States on his regime.
“No one should be fooled by the debates in the United States, with the elections. Stand up and ready for whatever needs to be done to defend Venezuela from the North American empire. If (President Donald) Trump wins the elections, we will confront him and we will defeat him; and if (former Vice President Joe) Biden wins, we will also face him and defeat him.”
The 57-year-old socialist insisted that he is still open to dialogue and negotiations should Trump or Biden wish to take a more conciliatory approach.
“If any of them [Trump and Biden] wanted to reflect on, rectify, the policy that has been defeated and enter a phase of respectful relations between our two countries, between governments, between the people, as I have always said, I am always open to dialogue with ‘hugs and open hands,'” Maduro said.
“In any such dialogue, they would encounter dignified men and women who they must respect. Because Venezuelans must be respected in the north and in the world,” he continued. “The blockade of the Venezuelan economy is anchored in a long-term global strategy, of a bipartisan nature, which reflects the consensus of the supremacist elite of the United States as a whole about its relations with Venezuela.”
Since Trump took office in 2017, his administration has forged a policy of trying to remove the Chavista regime from power through the use of economic sanctions and providing support to President Juan Guaidó (Maduro has not legally been president since January 2019).
Despite the Democratic Party’s noticeable shift to the left, Joe Biden is also in theory opposed to the Maduro dictatorship. During his stint as vice president in the Obama administration, Biden oversaw the imposition of sanctions against various Venezuelan officials.
Maduro accused Biden of plotting his assassination during his tenure as vice president.
“I accuse U.S. Vice President Joe Biden who personally spoke with the presidents and prime ministers about the plan,” Maduro declared in 2015. “The imperial power has entered a dangerous phase of desperation and has been talking to governments of the continent to announce the toppling my government.”